Damn, I completely forgot I had posted this!! Anyway, an update - we finally got here, with cats and personal belongings (shipping was a bit of a mission!!) and have settled in Signal Hill - renting.
We did look at Huntington Beach but my husband isn't the sporty type and didn't want to cycle that far to work!!
We did get PPO insurance through work, which is a relief as we were both a little apprehensive about the health care system here - particually coming from the UK where it really isn't something we ever had to think about..
Aside from that - we're loving Californian life (although I'm missing rain!!) and are so glad we made the move!!
Thanks for the responses to my initial query - appreciated..