Paula, Many folks that work in Sorrento Valley area live in Carmel Valley. It is probably the nicest area that is close. Moving around San Diego County during high traffic times can be a challenge, so even if it sounds close depending on the traffic patterns and when you need to commute, it can be as much time as you indicated.
This is particularly true for commutes that go west to east since each route is heavily used and from 92121 you either have to go north or drop down south to catch an eastbound freeway. Going North on I5 can be very busy but commute times will be much less.
I would encourage you to try driving anything that you are considering to get the reality of the commute. I live in downtown San Diego and work up and down the coastal markets. A trip to Carmel Valley can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour depending on the time of day.
Hope this helps, you can also check on Google Maps to see real time traffic results - this may give you some idea since you are not in the area.