An update on the New York trip we're planning: The previous hotel we were considering, the Pickwick Arms, has been disqualified due to raised prices. The next one we've stumbled upon is the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca.
The biggest pluses are the reasonable rates, the subway stop right outside the door and the penchant for utter cleanliness (according to the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Tripadvisor). The minuses are the cramped quarters (which I'm beginning to learn through my research is the norm in New York City), the noise level and the rather curt, sometimes rude staff.
Looking at these qualities, especially the one about the staff, it occurs to me that we may have stumbled upon the lodging equivalent of the Soup Nazi. Which, when you think about it, is a perfectly New York way to stay in the Big Apple.