Honestly, are you trying to say that it evens out? Lets not try to compare the nicest areas of Manhattan vs. the nicest areas of Philly. Midtown is as expensive as it gets & is exponentially more expensive than other areas of NYC. In Brooklyn I'm paying a fraction of what it would cost to live in Midtown. I know you are going to defend your post tooth & nail, but it is simply wrong. I'm going to be making NYC biglaw salary & I don't expect to have to live on Ramen Noodles & PEZ.Additionally, those prices are based on some non-descript area of Manhattan. Living closer to Harlem or in the West Village (let alone in Brooklyn or Queens) results in different rates than Midtown.
What you say holds true for every city and thus reveals nothing. The prices are based on some non-descript area in each city. Living in a less desirable or more remote part of any of these cities (Philly, NY, Atlanta, etc) would result in different rates.
Its not very Dude-like to say that you're going to be making BigLaw salary.