I moved back to Las Cruces after 3 years in the Valley (lived in Queen Creek and Ahwatukee), and I'd have to say that if you're sick of all that makes the Valley unpleasant, then you have a fair chance at enjoying your life in Cruces. Although pay is less here (I took a 20k/year cut), you won't have to worry about filling up your gas tank every few days just so you can commute 40 miles each way to work every day.
Although I disagree with Designer's assertion in another post that Cruces lacks character (it reminds me somewhat of Tucson here, which I like), it's in danger of rapidly losing the character it has, as our city council seems bent on catering to the whims of developers in order to increase the property tax base. With our rapid growth has come the homogeneous chain store/strip mall developments you're so intimately familiar with in Phoenix.
There's still a small-town mentality prevalent here, and I have yet to readjust to the slow drivers. Perhaps after being able to zoom down surface streets like Chandler Blvd. or Ray Rd. at 60 while people pass you like you're standing still, one can never go back to driving 5 below the speed limit.
Good luck on whatever you decide, and congrats on your pending escape from metro Phoenix.