Happy 2009! In the spirit of resolutions and change that comes with a new year let me encourage you all to get out there and find your dream apartment.
I just recently started investigating this and have found that the downturn of the economy means a drop in rental prices for Manhattan. So that sweet one bedroom in the village you've had your eye on may actually be in your price range....Awesome right?
I highly recommend Street Easy, a site that's great for buying/renting apartments in NYC that allows you to find real no-fee housing and you can check out how long a property has been on the market to help with your negotiations. Plus there's a great section called "Talk" where people give and seek advice on renter/buyer issues.
Also No Fee Rentals is good for finding places that don't have a hefty broker fee, as well as ol' faithful, Craigslist.
Once you find your dream apartment/condo, check out the free ferry to Ikea in Red Hook to stock up some sweet swedish furnishings.
Now get Moving!