We're number . . . six?

Okay, so maybe it doesn't jibe with the claims of so many local techies who insist Washington rivals Silicon Valley as a technology hotbed. But that's the verdict of a new survey of the areas most important to the U.S. tech industry by the Milken Institute, a Los Angeles economic think tank created by junk-bond maven Michael Milken.

Not surprisingly, the Silicon Valley capital of San Jose finished first. More surprisingly, Boston, long the East Coast's technology epicenter, ranked as fourth. (That rankled a few egos in that city, where some people continue to see it as the technology hub of the universe--"It's unbelievable to me," one Massachusetts tech leader told the Boston Globe.)

The Dallas area finished second, Los Angeles third.

The survey considered 14 high-tech industries as diverse as aviation parts and Internet-related services. It then figured out how much these sectors contribute to the nations' economy and gauged their concentration in 300 metropolitan areas. The Milken Institute dubs these areas "Tech-Poles."

RANK - AREA

1. San Jose

2. Dallas

3. Los Angeles-Long Beach

4. Boston

5. Seattle

6. Washington

7. Albuquerque

8. Chicago

9. New York

10. Atlanta