Okay, so I've recovered from my feelings of distress about having spent too much on my apartment, and my enthusiasm for moving to Boston/Cambridge is renewed. However, as a note about the geographic variability in housing prices, I will note that back in my small Iowa hometown, I have a sister who recently moved into an apartment that is approximately 2/3 the space of what I rented yesterday. For what I will be paying as one month's rent next year*, I could have paid the rent on her apartment for (slightly more than) 13 months.
(It's been strange when I go back to my hometown comparing the situation there to the real estate froth/bubble/geyser going on other places. In a nutshell, where I come there have long been higher mortality and outmigration rates than fertility and inmigration, with the result that there are more houses than people who want to be householders. Excess supply is a cruel thing. I suspect that if and when the time ever comes to sell my parents' property, it will be discovered that their house actually has negative value--that is, the property would be worth more if it was just the land without a house on it.)
* I found my place through a realty agency for which the fee was equivalent to a month's rent, which I'm factoring into the cost of the one-year lease.