Hudson County in Northern New Jersey is an option for people who can't afford to pay those crazy Midtown Manhattan hotel prices. You get great views of the NYC skyline and most hotels offer parking.  Here is a little information about some of the options:

Jersey City- Easily reachable via the PATH train or Ferry.   At the Newport PATH you can stay at the Doubletree Club or Courtyard by Marriott. Both are easily walkable to the train. Also there are restaurants close by and the Newport Mall is across the street.  These hotels are also very close to the entrance to the Holland Tunnel if you need to drive into the city.  Hyatt Regency on the Hudson is located next to the Exchange Place PATH train. It is located on the waterfront and has views of both lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. If you use the ferry, which is particularly convenient for Lower Manhattan sights, be sure you check the return schedule for the day.

Weehawken- Sheraton Suites on the Hudson - Weekday Ferry Service to NYC at Lincoln Harbor.  Located on the waterfront has a wonderful view of the NYC skyline.  Across the street is a Ruths Chris Steakhouse and a Houlihans. They also have a food court in the same building, it seems to be open only durning the week.   Just up the street, within walking distance is the Chart House.

Secaucus- The farthest of the Northern NJ options.  Many hotels are clustered together with Restaurants at the Harmon Meadow complex. Near the Meadowlands and in the same area as the Convention Center.  Most of these hotels are on the NJ transit #320 bus line. This bus stops at three malls and a Park-and-Ride lot. Learn the name of your stop. During non-rush hour, it is a short ride through the Lincoln Tunnel  to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd and 8th (in the theater district), but during the rush hours (roughly 7:00-9:00 AM and 4:30-7:00 PM) it can take considerably longer. The Exclusive Bus Lane which often helps to get you through the Lincoln Tunnel during the morning rush hour closes promptly at 10:00AM, regardless of the time you boarded the bus.  Some options are Amerisuites, Courtyard by Marriott,  Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, Homestead Suites and Wyndham.  There are many restaurants in this complex including, Houlihans, Chili's, Burger King, Pizzaria Uno, Hamburger in Paradise, Outback Steakhouse, TCBY, Starbucks and a few others.  There are also 2 movie Theatres.  Just up the street is a Walmart and Sams Club.  There is also a mall and strip mall close by.     Note that, due to the afternoon rush hour, it is probably unrealistic to be able to get back to your hotel in the late afternoon, freshen up, then head back into the city for dinner and a show (the afternoon rush through the Lincoln tunnel is bad in both directions), so you should assume that once you're in the city, you'll stay there all day.

Hoboken- As the Welcome sign says, Birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball. Right now there are no hotels in Hoboken. They are building a W hotel, but am not certain when that will be completed.  Hoboken is a great place to go to have a great photo opportunity.  Take the Ferry to Hoboken North or South.  There is a waterfront promenade at both ends of Hoboken.  You can also take the PATH train to Hoboken or the NJ transit bus # 126.  Walk to Washington Street and visit the shops, bars and restaurants. they even have very own Grimaldi's Coal Oven Pizza.  

Edgewater (which is actually Bergen County, but still on the Hudson waterfront) now has a Homewood Suites.  It is a bit further up Weehawken, but still commutable by the NJ transit bus #158.  The Homewood is located in a big stip mall(a fancy one with good shops and a couple of restaurants.) Next door is a movie theatre.