I believe that if there is life out there, that it would more than likely be strikingly similar to us.
The reason I say this, is because I believe that the Universe runs at a constant.
Take Mars for example.. Mars just like earth, has polar ice caps, great canyons created from erosion, and we are now learning that at one time great oceans once covered the planet.
It is safe to assume, that on the shores of those planets you would find ripples in the sand, just as you do hear on earth. And just like earth, you would find waves on those oceans. Also, just like with earths oceans, you would have found different climates, and weather patterns all generated by the Oceans and currents. Those ancient oceans due to some unknown force, dried up and are now locked in ice at the poles. Eventually the very same thing will eventually happen to earth.
These are Laws, that run true throughout the entire Universe.
But the question remains, how does life take hold? Where do we look to find life?
I believe that life is a very rare occurance, like two bullets hitting each other mid air. It is possible, but for all the ingredient's to be in place and for no huge catastrophic event to interfere with the process is like a one in a billion chance.
I believe that the odds of us humans finding life, simple life, is far greater than finding intelligent life.