To be perfectly honest, I live right near Aviator and have only been there twice, the second time was because someone else wanted to go there. The beer there is ok, not great. There are tons of great breweries here and I think all have been mentioned already. I agree with Darwin above for the most part. Natty's has a nice atmosphere for a brewpub, but if the weather's nice, the porch at Boylan's cannot be beat. I also really like FullSteam in Durham. They have a great atmosphere as well and the beer is quite good. I'm not sure if the Summer Basil is out yet, but if it is, its fantastic. Lonerider has fantastic beer as well, but the actual brewery atmosphere is lacking. Is your wife a beer nut also? If not, she would still enjoy most of what I mentioned above except Lonerider.
As for "other related beer places", while your in downtown Raleigh, check out at least one or two of the following:
The Pit (You asked for good bbg. This place is famous and delicious and in downtown.)
Raleigh Times (excellent rare and exotic beer selection, good food)
Busy Bee (also excellent rare and exotic beer selection)
Flying Saucer (Nice skirts, huge beer selection but only a few "interesting" ones.)
Tylers Taproom (Haven't been to the one downtown yet, but it's always first class in food, atmosphere, and beer selection. The chicken fried chicken is amazing.)
Peace Street Market
Sam's Quik Shop (if you go to Durham)
If you haven't already, check out beermapping. It lists just about everything Raleigh has to offer in the way of beer.
What part of Raleigh are you thinking about?