I have a TT interview coming up at one of the better R1s in my field (not an Ivy level - they don't have my field at most of the Ivies - but a very strong state flagship). Currently, I'm on the TT at a regional 4/4 comprehensive. Quality of life is fairly good here, in that I generally have 1 new prep per semester, and my department is very collegial. During my first few years on the TT here, I've been able to publish at a pace on par with most of my R1 colleagues, although mostly based on data I collected during my well-supported graduate program. My current department doesn't have all the resources I'd like and need to continue my research program long-term, although I could try collaborating with folks from other institutions or just change my research focus long-term. I generally work 8 to 5 during the week, with some occasional weekend work, but am usually able to reserve nights and weekends for my spouse and young kids. Time with family is very important to me, and while I work a lot, my schedule allows a decent amount of flexibility.
One reason I am interested in this R1 position is for the greater research support it would offer, both in terms of cutting-edge resources and reduced teaching load. Currently, I have four classes of about 25 students each, there I would be teaching 2/2 (or occasionally perhaps 2/1) with a typical load of one undergrad and one smaller graduate course per semester. Honestly, I enjoy teaching very much, but the sheer volume of teaching-related work at my current institutions is wearing on me, not to mention the fact that I feel my attention to research slowly becoming more sporadic out of necessity. Additionally, I am the only one actively publishing in my department, so while my research is appreciated, I don't feel the sense of scholarly community I'd like to feel. So, from a scholarly standpoint, everything in my mind says "Go" should I get an offer at Flagship R1. However, the part that gives me biggest pause is how my quality of life might change if I took the R1.
On one hand, R1s often get the reputation as all-consuming pressure cookers, especially pre-tenure. That is not something I'm looking for - I will not sacrifice my physical, spiritual, or family well-being for a job, no matter how much I enjoy it. On the other hand, if I am currently researching and publishing at a near-R1 pace from my 4/4 regional job, is it possible to expect my quality of life and family time could actually improve by moving to an institution with more research support and lower teaching loads?