Compared to seattle, san francisco and vancouver, portland is definitely second string.
Let's keep it that way. I love Portland. You couldn't pay me to live in Seattle or San Fran. Both are fun to visit, but they both have that gritty, dirty feel and the people are so cold and unfriendly (this is not necessarily a bad thing, some people like the grit and brashness). That is because they are cities. Portland is just a combination of a bunch of small towns and villages with a 1960s-1980s skyline built before Portland lost its competitiveness to the world economy. Seattle, SF and Vancouver all have geographically better locations to be port towns which is how the west coast developed over the last 100 years. You can also say that since Portland never burnt down as our neighbors have we have less downtown land worthy of development. I would rather have our slow, meandering style of development than large corporate players making all the towns shots.
If crazy development is all you want to see around you: move to dubai. But, you might find that that type of incredibly fast paced mega-project building makes for a pretty poor livability in the long run. I prefer Portland's more european, slow growth over time, feel than that of any other city in the US.
This is just my opinion, please do not take my words as an argument.