As for shopping my wife can tell you that its very convenient. Walmart, Home Depot and vons are very close. San Ysidro outlets are so close that in order to avoid parking and traffic you can drop off your wife and pick them up in a few hours. Bonita, Otay Ranch and Chula Vista malls are close as well. Distance and time were right in the middle between the Costco on Broadway and the one on H street in Rancho Del Ray.
Below is a link to much of the data that may help you with your decision. We also concur with Cory's advice about driving the area at different times.
Best to you,
Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
The best way to assess friendliness and get a feel for safety in any neighborhood, is to drive there at different times of the day and week. Go grocery shopping there, dine out, get coffee, whatever you normally do in your current neighborhood. You'll get a better feel for any area if you visit during the week during and after business hours, and at different times on the weekend. Also use the crime link provided below, or contact the local police station.
Let me know if i can help you find a home. I'll be able to send you the full MLS listings for homes you see online, and homes that fit your criteria.
Ocean Crest area has convenient shopping, WalMart and Vons are close by. Freeway access to the 805 is very easy as well.
So far as crime, here is a link to local crime reports that you can review.
If you need help finding a home in the area I would be glad to help you.
The San Diego Property Shop
CA DRE # 00648687