Okay, 5 years later I'm answering this question. You're correct in that the crime rate in Eastmont is bad, but there is retail, just depends if you're willing to shop in the area. Eastmont Mall being the main area for shops/groceries, etc.
I live in the "hilly" part and it's quite a different vibe up here. In fact, if you're headed down Edwards toward the bay, the feeling changes dramatically as it turns into 73rd and goes down the hill. Even sections within the Eastmont Hills are different in terms of crime. Sunkist seems to be a dividing line.. West of Sunkist seems to have more criminal activity than east of Sunkist toward 580.
I live east of Sunkist in King Estates area and I can tell you that it's got a great neighborhood feeling with people who are vested and involved in making the neighborhood a safe place to be. Lots of dog walkers, kids playing, neighbors who know and look out for each other, people who take care of their homes, wave when you drive by, etc. I love my street and know most of the people. So if you like that sort of traditional neighborhood thing, it's a good place for that.
Ok all that said..we do experience robberies, vandalism and the occasional violent crime. But, I don't think it's any more than other areas in the Oakland Hills based on crime maps I've viewed. So, I would say the biggest drawback of the Eastmont Hills is not the crime, but the distance to areas for shopping and the ability to take a walk to get a cup of coffee or hang out. In the years to come, that might all change with the Oak Knoll plan to develop retail/living space on the old hospital property, but that could be a ways away.