I'm a fairly new SL member who spends a great amount of time in-world. I am most likely to be found as a human or near-human avatar (water sprite, mummy), but can often be seen in other forms such as animals. I am the creater of a little group, CnSL, that owns a lot in Bay City - Falconmoon. If you're thinking of buying (or renting) a Bay City lot, here are some things to keep in mind:
You get double the standard level of prims on these lots, making them great for businesses and complex buildings. You cannot modify terrain. You cannot subdivide or join lots (but you can buy neighboring lots and build to the joining border). There are free Bay City textures available to use to make the area seem more uniform and reduce lag. These lots are very expensive right now. Nearly every lot has access to at least one road or alley. Some lots are along the ocean or beach, and even more are along canals. There's public transportation available in some areas by ferryboat or trolly. There are also a lot of Linden Land such as parks, a theater, a bowling alley, factories, and much more to explore (and if you buy in the right location, to reduce your chance of being lost behind other's builds). Since it's mostly businesses, there are few ban lines to get in your way. Even if you aren't interested in buying (or renting) a lot in Bay City, it's a great place to explore.
If you have a Bay City parcel, you can join the Bay City Alliance and Bay City Centre groups to share your ideas about what would improve the area and find out what the rest of us are up to. We're trying to increase visitation to the area (more traffic and such) and are organizing promotional activities, like the Halloween treasure hunt.
It was great fun, but I think next time I'll just try for an art space or a non-reserved camp :) Can't wait till next year :)