Knox is such a fantastic school. It has its downsides, obviously, as any place will, but they are far outshone by the positives the school has to offer.
The academics are stellar. In my entire Knox career, I had only one bad class - it was a math course, taken for the distribution credit, and taught by a brand new professor who didn't know what he was doing (and who, for the record, has since left teaching entirely for a field he was much more suited for). I never had a professor with whom I didn't feel comfortable asking questions, or who wasn't willing to schedule time outside of class to help with difficult material. The classes are challenging, but help is always available if you get in over your head, and the options and flexibility for completing requirements is phenomenal. I majored in Creative Writing and double minored in American Studies and Spanish, and still had time to take courses in Latin, environmental studies, and linguistics, just for fun.
The extracurriculars are varied and quite good. There are all kinds of clubs, sports, and Greek organizations available, and if you have an idea for a club, it's not terribly difficult to start one (I happen to know someone who just recently started a kazoo choir, for example). There is a problem with some clubs, where the leadership graduates and then the club kind of fizzles out (this happened to the now-defunct bell choir, of which I used to be a member), but if it regains enough interest, it is easy enough to re-start old clubs.
Knox is incredibly diverse for a school of its size, both racially and economically. I had classes with students from all over the country, as well as places like Greece, Fiji, Ghana, Poland, and Japan. The financial aid packages are fantastic, meaning not everyone is a rich white kid (although there are a fair number of those, too), and you meet people with all sorts of different backgrounds. As far as who you hang out with, the small size of the school means it's quite easy to have friends in lots of different departments. My circle of friends included people majoring in chemistry, biology, Latin, education, poli-sci, philosophy, history, and music. This isn't to say all departments are equal - some are quite clique-y (I'm looking at you, theater department), but even so, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on what you want, and there are enough different kinds of people here that pretty much anyone can find their niche. There are certainly a fair number of spoiled suburbanites, and the liberal guilt/suburban angst can sometimes be overwhelming, but there are plenty of other people to hang out with if these aren't your type. One of Knox's biggest assets, in my opinion, is the quirky, unique, and charming student population.
The location is not everyone's idea of perfect, certainly, but Galesburg has more going for it than some other commenters seem to give it credit for. It suffers from the same economic struggles as most Midwestern towns right now - there is a fair amount of unemployment and poverty, and some parts of it are clearly depressed. That said, the downtown area has plenty of cute little shops and pleasant restaurants and bars, all within walking distance of school. There aren't any dance clubs, sure, but you can't judge a town the size of Galesburg by Chicago standards. Peoria and the Quad Cities are both less than an hour's drive away, and if you're just dying for a taste of the big city, given the Knox population, you'll have at least one friend from Chicago; plan a weekend trip with them. And if you absolutely can't stand the idea of living in a town this size, don't come here.
As far as safety goes, the location is not perfect. It's on the edge of a rougher part of town, and it's probably best not to venture off campus to the south or west after dark. That said, I, as a female, have walked around on campus by myself at all hours, and never felt unsafe, and north and east of the school (i.e. the downtown area, where most of the shops, bars, and other places of interest are located) are likewise just fine. I currently live in Galesburg itself, about 8 blocks northeast of the school, and I regularly walk back and forth from campus visiting friends at all hours, especially on weekends, and it has never been a problem.
Knox has its problems, certainly. The administration can sometimes be far more opaque than seems reasonable, and one definitely gets the impression of "close ranks, shut down questions" at any hint of scandal. In recent years, a dean was fired amid much controversy without sufficient (in many people's opinion) explanation, and a fantastic professor was let go from a tenure track position (against the wishes of his department) with no real reason given as to why. However, I honestly don't think that sort of thing is particularly worse here than it would be at any other school. The administration's job is to make the school look good, so of course they don't want to air their dirty laundry where everybody can see it. It's not right, but I can't believe it's not common, either.
Overall, Knox is a wonderful school, where you can get a first rate education and make lasting friendships with fantastic people. If I had college to do over again, I would definitely pick Knox in a heartbeat.