I am in the same boat as you. I am looking to buy, and west Altadena appears to offer a lot of potential. Some of the houses look great, especially for those of us looking for a starter home.
Also, west Altadena's proximity to the 210 is such a nice asset that it's sad to hear that crime remains an issue. I have driven around the neighborhood at night, during the day, and get excited about its potential. But I work long hours and would hate to come back home to find something fishy at home, etc.
All in all, I would like to hear more from those new homeowners in west Altadena to let us know how it's going for them. The location of this area is just too good to pass up. With its hiking, closeness to Old Town, etc., it's just such a bargain.
Any new West Altadeneans care to comment?