Its funny when you look at Adelaide on a map- as you say it looks like one suburb just rolls into the next. Yet when you go up to Mount Lofty or any other high vantage point it looks like a big forest! Particularly with all the rain here over the last 12 months and everything being so green- it looks great, and not really like a city at all.
You are doing the right thing in researching as much as possible before you come, but you really wont know whats best for you until you get here and see for yourself.
When we came out we did the same- lots of research and questions on here etc- and we ruled out Henley Beach for instance, because on paper it seemed too close to the airport. However we arrived and have rented here for the last year and absolutely love it! Very expensive to buy at the beach though.
That said we have just bought some land to build our house on the face of the Hills about 15 minutes from the city, so somewhere different again.
We had thought about Hallett Cove, Christies, and some of the other southern suburbs, but on arrival we stayed down that way and although it was nice enough we found it a little distant from the city for us. Plus it was full of poms....
There are some very nice areas to the east of the city, very leafy suburbs, but they can be expensive.
Come over and have a look for yourself without committing to one area. Get your other half to work for someone else for a while until he opens his own place- that way he will have time to find the right location, and the right place for all of you. He will also be able to find out if the industry differs in any way etc... there are subtle differences with most things here.
One thing I will say is if you look around you WILL find something that suits you all here- there is something for everyone within an hour of the city here.
Good luck with your adventure.