15 years experience at hiding from the general population and geeking out in the dark.
Cheapest place to stay (if you cant afford the Venetian $300+ a night) is the Imperial Palace. It is easy walking distance (3 minutes on the strip, and thats walking slow). I think around this time of year its around $65 a night, but depends if its on the weekend and time of year. Rooms are ok, nothing special. Second option would be the Budget Suites, which is a little further than the Imperial.