Pros: Beautiful Campus, Excellent Cafeteria and Location, Tolerant Environment
Cons: Rigorous Work Load, Lots of Required Training, Occasional Mountain Lions
Every work place has it's quirks. Berkeley, pinnacle of innovation though it may be, is no exception. It is a community of people dedicated to scientific advancement and global progress. Though often times the demands of innovation require longer (and sometimes uncompensated) work days if you are a scientist, those who burn the midnight oil do so because it is a labor of love. The support staff at LBNL is wonderful, and always has kind words, warm smiles, and excellent nutrition and coffee available. The view from the laboratory is beautiful, my small desk in a trailer had a perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge. You meet people from countries you have only seen on maps, from Nobel Laureates to High School interns to Shop Technicians.
Unfortunately, many of the more specialized and theoretical areas of science, my former employers included, your ability to carry out the science you love is entirely dependent on funding. The saying may be "Publish or Perish," but even my Principal Investigator who published over 52 papers in one year, was unable to convince the powers that be to continue the funding of his research.
Though there is a strong sense of camaraderie at LBNL, many scientists are in a perpetual struggle for funding, something that many forget. Berkeley is a world-class institution, and though the lab is expanding, space is limited. I would definitely recommend this place to any scientist I come across, but with a word of encouragement to make the best of your time here. Progress waits for no one.