Rent vs Own in 2012

When my wife and I moved to England we weren't sure how long we were going to be here so we opted to rent a house instead of buying. It was the first time we'd been renters in a long time but it seemed like the most logical thing to do. Weirdly we would be both tenants and landlords at the same time as we were renting out our house in California at the time. 4 years has gone by and we're still renting. Different house, different town but recently I've seen a lot of commentary and opinion on rent vs. own in 2012 and as a result I've been doing a lot of thinking about my past forays into the housing market and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences.