FWIW, the cost of living calculator I just looked at said it costs less in Raleigh than KC. Here it is, in case you want to look at it: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/
Sure, there are some expensive neighborhoods in Raleigh--but let's not pretend Mission Hills doesn't exist either.
I live in another part of North Carolina, but the state is very affordable overall with immediate access to both the ocean and the mountains. My summers are cooler than KC and my winters are warmer.