How much debt are you talking about? Some debt is reasonable. If you go only with what you Stafford allow you to take, you should still be in good shape.
As for who is right, the cc experience is not the same as a four-year experience. The fact is that most students who start off in community college don't make it to the four-year institution in two years. You're more likely to graduate if you start off at ta four year school.
Now things are a bit different in California with the link to the UC system so I would expect students to be a lot more successful in transferring. I don't see why attending a CC would strip you of social life once you get to the university. You'll be going to a large university with plenty of opportunities to meet other people.
If you can afford UW with just Stafford loans, I'd say go for it. If you need more than that, take the cc route and transfer.