Well, I don’t know what HideoHo’s reasoning was, but after living in Oakland for five years, I can say it’s not the quietest of neighborhoods. On a weekend during the school year there’s bound to be plenty of people out on Forbes and in the bars, parties going on down in South Oakland and up in the frat houses on the hill by Sutherland, etc. And I don’t mean to imply that’s necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly isn’t to everyone’s taste.
On the other hand, Oakland is a neighborhood that can change a lot from block to block, and the hotels I remember there were buffered somewhat from the places that are most likely to be noisy. There are probably others, but the two I remember are the Best Western on the Blvd of the Allies across from Magee Hospital (of course, with the hospital there, you will get a certain amount of ambulances coming and going) and the Holiday Inn off of Fifth a few blocks down from the Cathedral of Learning. I actually stayed in the Holiday Inn for one night about six years ago, and it was a nice place, but I remember it being a bit pricey.
Some of it depends on where pipefitter is coming from, and how he’s getting here. There are a lot of hotels and motels out where I live (Monroeville, PA), but it’s about as far from the airport as you can get and still be near to Pittsburgh. However, if you’re coming in on the Turnpike from the east, then it’s right on the way in.
And as for EatNPark, eh… It has always been a place I could take or leave. Better than Denny’s, but still nothing special.