sorry i'm a little late in responding -- i'll try to answer a bunch at once.
jobs: i finished in the top third this semester (they do not rank or give percentiles outside that cutoff) and i have a summer job at a big firm. i just got a call from a very good friend who also finished in the top third and landed a job clerking for a judge in california. (overall 1L summer jobs are a take what you can get kind of thing, but we had an intercession program before second semester started that focused solely on getting a summer job.) getting out to the coast is not as daunting a task as it sounds from wash u. the reputation is only going up, and it's well-respcted. i have definitely seen more efforts to get people to the west coast because obviously we have a large contingent of students who want to go there. i think they had a west coast job fair not too long ago.
atmosphere: like wustl3l said, it is very laid back. something about the atmosphere here just takes the competitive edge off. it's collaborative and non-threatening. plus the faculty are great.
sure, the curve sucks, but i personally think we're at an advantage with the grading system. a few years ago they raised the mandatory mean to 86.5-87.5 from an 83. the downside to that is everyone is SO crunched (the difference for our class between top 25% and top 10% was less than 2 points. the upside is, your grades can look higher and if you've missed a cutoff you've likely only just missed it.
hope this helps.