My choices as a professional traveler of travel resources that are reasonable trustworthy.
Wikitravel.org - Trying to be a guide, but the Hotels will post their deceptive prices, but the best there is right now.
CouchSurfing.com - I have yet to use this, but the idea is great. I think you could find a room for three days, and in this time search for a cheap apartment.
Lonely Planet Thorn tree Forum - If you muck around there for a few days, pose some questions, an honest person can finally come forward.
Sites I use to Test Prices of Hotels:
I want to know the starting price of hotels in a city, this is complicated. The best way is to use a paper copy of Lonely Planet, Rough guide, Let's Go and look up the budget hotels in the guidebook.
Hostel World.com - This site is extremely tricky, but if you learn how they think, you can hopefully start to get a range of prices. Normally the price of the cheapest hotel in Hostel world.com is still double the price you can actually rent a room for, but in someplace's it is the cheapest. They appeal to backpackers, and often the Hotels put in Backpacker prices, while in Hotels.com or something like that they can explode the price.