Been here for 15 years. Lived in Montana, Hawaii, and Arizona prior...and I gotta say I love Colorado Springs. Pretty much little to nothing negative to say about it.
Boating is great here, if you ask me, though nothing like you'll find in the PNW. Waterton and Bailey are an hour away and are uber-fun. Fewer strainers for sure.
There are seasons here so boating year around isn't really an option though you can pretty much always find water and a decent run. LOTS of manmade whitewater parks.
Don't listen to the haters...it's great here. 300+ days of sunshine per year and snow seldom lasts more than a couple days. The restaurants do blow (if I had to say something negative), but there are some GREAT ones (Mollica's, Drifters, China Restaurant, Jun).
I boat, ride dirt bike (single-track trails), and off-road (rock crawling), and CS is paradise.