I can see how the road noise difference is evident between Steamboat and the Vail Valley. Its almost like something you don't even notice till its gone. I guess its one of the things that you have to deal with when live in an easy access "paradise with convienience". I will say that coming from Denver you won't even notice it, as there is far more road noise in the front range.
As for jobs and such, you gotta do what ya gotta do. Vail Associates or whatever the hell they call themselves now (Ralston Corp. aka Purina last I knew but I like VA better because thats what I grew up with) offers many jobs that should pay the bills sufficiently plus you get a free pass that lets you ski for free n stuff. However, I could see how if you couldn't land a full time job at VA, finding sufficient work to pay for the lifestyle could be a bit of a challenge. I do find that from growing up there, if you wanna make a living that will more then pay for your lifestyle, get into Real Estate up there. It'll take a while to get in, but once you are there you can do very well for yourself. Regardless, there is plenty of work up there, though like the other person said, you might have to triple part-time it to get it.
p.s. Bitchin begets bitchin.....insults hardly make relations between areas any better. Outdoor enthusiasts tend to be pretty similar whether in the Mountains or the Front Range. I know its a rivalry and all but geez. JH