Now cheap is a relative thing. I believe that prices are still crazy. Two bedroom apartments in the Lower East Side are running at $3000/month on average. If you factor that your gross annual income should be about 45x the monthly rental, that comes out to a salary of $135,000 a year. Still though, using a calculator for take home pay, that salary translates to about $7000/month. This means the average rental would be 43% of monthly take home pay. That is ridiculous!
Even areas like Harlem run about $2000/month, which requires a $90,000 salary. Also, these rate are for non-doorman apartments. You want a doorman, be prepared to spend another $1000/month. That is some price for the luxury.
So, this means that renting is not a good option unless I had a super well paying job. We would need at least a 3 bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood. That means paying almost $4000/month which requires a $180,000 combined salary. Right now we are almost surviving with a single income, so would like to maintain that as long as possible.