It's a growing and sprawling metropolis with lots of freeways, and never ending suburban sprawl in all directions. Couple that in with picturesque mountains on three sides, with a couple of small mountain buttes within city limits, makes for a picturesque city.
PHX diversity is primarily made up of Hispanics, and Whites, sprinkled with Native Americans, Blacks, and some Asians (many who have recently moved from CA). Phoenix in my opinion is trying to make itself LA without the beach. There are pockets of wealth all over, more so in the in cities of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and Glendale. North Scottsdale and North PHX are areas where they are comparitively priced like LA, then you have the East Valley cities that are built up and homes can be found in the 300K - 400K range, and in the West Valley it ranges from the 100K - 400K range, and in the far off areas like Casa Grande, Maricopa, Queen Creek, Apache Junction, Florence, and Buckeye homes there are cheap in the 100K to 200K range as well. Right now, it's a depressed market, where it's easier to find a cheap home because there's too many homes for sale than there are buyers.
The economy of the area is made up mainly of service oriented industries, government and retail and recently construction. There's little technical and technology oriented jobs but since Arizona State University is located in Tempe, AZ (suburb south of PHX) and has four campuses spread out throughout the metro in the West Valley, at downtown and the Polytechnic campus in Mesa, technical and technology jobs are becoming much more available.