If you're looking at Vancouver for a long stay it might be worth checking out prices to Seattle too. It's not a long drive up the coast, and quite often flight prices into Seattle are a lot less than they are into Vancouver, owing to the extra competition.
Thanks everyone, we are doing a houseswap to Vancouver in July and found out what the flying time is so it made me wonder perhaps how long it is to the Eastern side. Thanks for the flight tips, will take a look.
If you're going to Seattle then driving (excellent idea, friends of ours did that) then beware of coming through the border crossing (the Peace Arch) at 5pm on a Sunday or on a Canadain Holiday e.g. Canada Day 1st July.
If you're doing that and buying loadsa cheap American stuff, make sure you take the tags off and hide them. Don't declare anything coming across the border or they'll sting you for Customs Tax. Deny everything and they'll wave you through (the customs guys are too overworked to bother searching).