Some have moved back, others have moved here. There's no doubt it's tougher here than it was a few years ago, particularly if you're seeking work. But, if you don't need to work, it doesn't matter.
Income taxes in 2012 will remain the same as in 2011:
20% on first 32,800 Euro and 41% on balance. As well, there's a Universal Social Charge that will add about 2pc before deductions.
So, the income tax burden is not excessive. It's the myriad of other taxes that will cut back your spendable cash. There's VAT at 23pc, much higher petrol costs due to high taxation than in the states (but less need for really long drives), cigarettes are prohibitive (as a nonsmoker, I firmly believe in clonking smokers over the head and leaving me alone), a new amazingly small property tax of 100 euro that's got the body politic riled up (as a home owner, I firmly believe in yet higher taxes on cigarettes and leaving me alone), etc. etc.
Overall, the tax burden works out roughly to a third of income for those with decent incomes - and yours would put you into the upper 10-15pc or so of Irish incomes.
On the other hand, health insurance is cheaper even as costs rise precipitously. Travel to europe is cheap outside the highest seasons, and it's a wondrously beautiful place to live and a thriving cultural and community kind of place.
In short, if you don't need to find work here, then it's not prohibitive. At least, that's my view.
The best thing to do, always, is come for an extended vacation. Rent a place for 3 months or so and see what happens in reality. Do NOT buy property until you're sure you want to live someplace particular. The property market does not work and if you buy, you're stuck with it while prices continue to go down.