I used to live downtown and I miss being able to walk to work, the store, and everywhere. However, I do not miss the noise and craziness and beligerent a-holes that downtown provides at times.
Also, because the entire bus system stops off in downtown, you could go anywhere in no time just by walking to the bus stations or lightrail.
Before I purchased my house in the Vineyard area (a nice southeastern sacramento suburban/rural neighborhood 13 miles away), I considered looking around the East Sac area (Fab 40s) so I could at least bike to work or take the lightrail - or even walk the 2 miles if I needed to. Unfortunately, that area is super expensive!
West Sacramento, however, depending on how east you can find a spot there, is super close to downtown and has bus systems that can get ya to downtown in no time - or take 5-10min drive there - can definitely ride a bike there in no time - or if necessary, you could walk or run the 2-3 miles to it.
West Sac has got a lot of random cool amenities: there's a small college campus that's a seperate location for Sac City college. It's got a LOT of parks and lots of leagues (like baseball, volleyball, soccer) you could join. Rivercats stadium is in West Sac. Lots of shopping centers.
But the number one benefit I think of living here would be the location in distance to downtown Sac. You can even see the river and the big buildings if you just look outside. It'll make you feel like you're still in the city but protected by the neighboring suburbs.
Overall, after a little research, it looks to be a pretty safe area, low crime rates.
Honestly, if I was single and looking to buy a place, I'd probably buy a loft in West Sac - just because of the location - and i would still be able to party and do a bunch of stuff in downtown, but still have a liveable and affordable investment that you could live in very nearby.
Because I've never actually lived here, I cannot attest to West Sacramento being a suitable place for certain people. But all I can say is, after looking at houses there and going to friend's houses who live there and stuff, that it seems to have everything you need in its own little barrier w/ a little extra for activities, but also it's conveniently located right next to downtown Sac to where a LOTS of stuff goes down, but you won't have to deal with the noise and craziness when you don't want to like you would if you DID live downtown and could even AFFORD it in the first place.