Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago are my preferred locations.
- Los Angeles: great for transpacific connectivity. As the world population skews towards Asia, it's good to pick a location that works for both the population and where I'm from (USA.)
- Denver: It's nice to not have to worry about natural disaster. If you're somewhere like LA or Miami, there's always the possibility of an earthquake or a hurricane respectively.
- Chicago: Centrally located in the US, it is the best (in my opinion) at servicing the US. It's reasonably close to NYC (latency-wise) while not over-committing to the east coast.
So depending on the project, those are the first 3 I look at.