(1) This board. It pays to ask specific questions - there are a LOT more people reading than posting, but people are pretty good about responding to specific questions (ie - if someone asked a question about BU, I'd certainly answer it). You can also try the Students' and Graduates' board. Try asking for input under the specific school boards (not a whole lot of activity there yet, but inactivity perpetuates itself - post away!)
(2) Visit schools. I know it's hard to hop around the country to visit distant schools, but you should try to visit any school that you're considering that isn't too out of the way (or use the visit as an excuse to visit an otherwise interesting city). Once you're actually at the school you can sit in on a class, talk to the students (they'll tell you what it's really like), and check out the facilities. Then you can report back here for others who couldn't visit.
That said, I was living in San Francisco when I decided to come to BU. I'd never even been to Boston before signing up. I don't regret my decision for a second. I found a great school in a great town just by taking a chance on the unknown.