Hey TempleAce...there's hidden gems all over. I think Washington Square West is a really great place to live... between like 13th and 10th/9th and between pine and walnut. Easy access to the orange line (it takes me 20 minutes from my door to school). Tons of coffee shops (for studying). And best of all... it's probably the cheapest place to live in center city. You can find cheaper options in Art Museum area, but I feel like it's farther away from nightlife when you have time for it... ie it's gonna suck to take cabs all the time. my brain is fried and i have a civ pro final tomorrow...hope i could help.
... in that neighborhood it is actually quite cheap, a one bd around there will easily go for $1300 and up- you can do a bit better in art museum and wash sq. west but not much, I would really consider the average cheap studio to be around $700-900, cheap one bd to be from $850-1100, two bds can be found between $1150-1400.you're going to have a hard time getting anything cheaper than that right now, imo...my rents $975 for a 1 bd and people are amazed by how cheap my apartment is when I tell them.rent's not cheap in the city ::shrugs::
for those out of towners moving to philly.. keep in mind if you are far enough away from temple that you need to take regional rail to get there, then expect to pay for a cab ($20-30+) after midnight if you want to get home
i signed up for the refferal thing. It would be nice to find someone who knows the philly area.