I'm on the prowl for apartments. It's disappointing what crap you get for a large amount of money. If you think 1000GBP ($1600) is a lot of money for an studio or single bed apartment you'd be wrong. I've flipped through hundreds of ads of that price range, and most of it is disappointingly shit. Sometimes you can find an apartment for 300 pounds cheaper which either has already been taken or is a scam by some Nigerian rat. To get something consistently good, even as far out as zone 4-5, you have to pay at least 1500 pounds. And that's a low estimate.
Things do get a bit easier if you let agencies help you, but then you have to deal with agencies. Like the age-old regex quote: you have a problem, you decide to solve it with a regular expression, now you have two problems. Agencies are like that.
I will keep trying. I am committed to at least 6 months of London. Let's make it happen.