Chemistry - Diagonal relationships in the Periodic Table
What I remember from studying C-P 'diagonal relationships' (for multiple bonds e.g. carbene vs phosphinidene, alkyne vs phosphaalkyne) is that similar electronegativity also played a role, also by affecting the valence orbitals.
However, perhaps it is better viewed from a different vantage point: the main group elements behave rather similarly from 3rd row onwards, but there is a distinct difference between the 2nd and 3rd row elements and the explanation is pretty straightforward: The 2s and 2p orbitals are roughly similar in 'size' since the 2p orbitals are the first p-orbitals and are pretty compact. Therefore 2s and 2p orbitals mix happily. Going to the third row, the 3p orbitals need to be orthogonal to the 2p orbitals and as a consequence they are much more diffuse than the 3s orbitals, resulting in less efficient s-p hybridization. This also manifests itself in the so-called 'inert pair' effect whereby e.g. Si will resist hybridization in favor of a lone pair. There is some beautiful work by Knutzelnigg from the 80s (?) describing these effects. This 2nd-3rd row discrepancy is somewhat counterbalanced if you step to right, increasing Z and thereby contracting the orbitals giving rise to this apparent diagonal relationship.
Similar arguments make that for the 3d TMs the hybridization is more efficient for 4s-3d than for the 4d/5d TMs. Consequently, 3d TMs tend to behave differently from their heavier sisters, which in turn are closer together (although for the 5d's the relativistic effects start to kick in more heavily...).