I can only speak for the San Francisco Bay Area. I am currently in the job market ans salaries are down from what they were in 1998 1999 just prior to the dot com crash. During that period of time 110K to 120K was about average I took a job at 130K, plus a sign-on bonus and yearly bonus + stock. This was not a startup company; it was a Fortune 100 company. I did get an offer from a startup that was 125K plus 75K shares at .03 cents a share vested over 2 years, plus 15K sign-on. There was also a 20% annual bonus based on company and personal performance. The company did not go public and in fact does not exist anymore. However that was then and this is now, today I am seeing 110K to 120K as a base salary as well but sign-on bonuses seem to have gone way of the Dodo. Many companies still have yearly bonuses of roughly 10% of the yearly salary based on personal and company performance. I have also been approached for many contract opportunities with each company trying to scratch out as much profit for themselves as possible. During the boom I worked contract to hire at a rate of 85.00 per hour. Several companies have offered me a rate of 50 to 60 per hour in most cases and will try to get you to go lower when you state your rate. My minimum is 70 an hour and is not negotiable you need to stick to your guns here. While 70 per hour may seem high you must remember you are not paid when sick, three day weekends, vacations etc. My rule is that I will not work 21 working days during the year, due to being sick, personal time, vacation, etc and my hourly rate needs to cover time I don't work. It also needs to cover health insurance, retirement investments, emergency money etc. Several companies have gone to the practice of contract to hire position in order to see if you are going to work out and work well with the other employees. This makes it easier for the company to let you go with out the headache of legal problems such as wrongful termination.
I have heard of salar