I highly recommend the NE part of St. Pete, in particular check out Shore Acres, Mangrove Bay, The Venetian Isles, Snell Isle, Bayshore. Homes are affordable, waterfront starts at about 300K, there are virtually no no-wake zones, direct access to Tampa Bay, close to Downtown with a huge assortment of resteraunts, bars, clubs, sporting events, the Pier, marinas, etc. I can get you a good realtor's contact if you need, though she may not be available this weekend on short notice, I'd still try. PM me if interested.
Tarpon Springs is very nice, but I think of it as kind of secluded and even a bit redneckish in some parts...sure land and homes are cheaper, but you may as well stay in MA...it doesn't have that Florida feel, in my opinion.
Also go look at Safety Harbor and Tampa if you get a chance.