I checked into a hostel today (my first). It certainly is a bit different than a normal hotel. So far...I like it. It works just fine for me. I don't think any of my former girlfriends would have approved of this place. People are very friendly and want to talk to you. I'm in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter, so I'm surrounded by restaurants and night life...and I'm only 4 blocks from the convention center.
Here are some pics of my room. It was $30/person per night and my room is for 2 people. So I paid $60/night to get a private room.
My main concern was the bathroom...I wasn't looking forward to sharing a bathroom and a shower. It looks like it won't be too bad after all...here are some pics of the bathroom...
The outside (see the first pic) has a painting of a guy trying to commit suicide...not sure how that fits into staying at a hostel, but I'll let you know after I've been here a week.