I have lived in Old Lyme for three years. Prior to that I lived in Guilford for 18 and Killingworth for 12. I can say without hesitation that Old Lyme is my favorite - it's a great small town and the people here are very friendly. However, it depends on what you are looking for. Old Lyme has very little shopping and only one food market (A&P). There are no Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or fast food restaurants. If like me, you want a quiet town without much traffic, that's a plus - if your looking for "action", Old Lyme may not be for you. The good news is that pretty much anything you want is within around fifteen minutes north or south of Old Lyme. Ten minutes south is Old Saybrook with a Super Stop & Shop, Walmart, Home Goods and many interesting small stores - also many restaurants. Ten minutes north is Niantic (part of East Lyme) where there is another Super Stop & Shop, movie theatre, small shops and restaurants. If you go a little further north you will find Lowes, anoter Walmart, Home Depot, the Crystal Mall and a number of mid-sized shopping centers. So in summary, in Old Lyme we have the best of all worlds - a beautiful shoreline town with very little congestion and great beaches but plenty of shopping, restaurants and just about anything else you might need within a twenty minute drive.
Hope this helps. I would be happy to show you around Old Lyme and answer any other questions you may have - give me a call on my cell - 860-876-0466.