Just to stir the pudding...NE climbers tend to have a rep elsewhere, like anywhere south of here, as being a bit full of themselves and their rock for less than adequate reasons. Probably goes back to Webster's guides and his assertion that the choss pile, er, Cannon, is the biggest wall in the East (ignorance) and that Whitehorse is the best friction in the east (laughable). There's some great stuff up here, but, for instance, when I first went to Cathedral my reaction was, 'So this is the famous Cathedral Ledge? Cool. It would be in the top ten in NC. Somewhere between #5 and #10.' Let the flames begin.
And I've never met any climber, anywhere, who didn't have the attitude that 'if you can climb [in my local region], you can climb anywhere.' So you're right, travel is key.