Pavel and I are I guess what you'd call cheap coffee connoisseurs; more to the point, even if we both were employed full time, I don't think you'd find us paying $20-$30/lb for coffee when there's perfectly good stuff out there for considerably less than that.* Generally, except for the emergency runs to the bodega across the street for the least expensive Latin stuff (always good, though always ground), we get whole bean, so I guess we're not completely lost.
Anyway, our two favorites in this area are Trader Joe's and Eight O'Clock (with 8:00 winning out for a while when they had their frequent buyer program). Had been drinking a lot of the TJ's French Roast lately, as they sell that in a huge tub. It's nice, though a bit messy in the grinder due to its oiliness. Only just ran out of it a couple days ago, so Pavel went out and picked up a big, two pound bag of Eight O'Clock.
As I'm the first to get up in the morning, I'm the one who preps the first pot. Always use the same amount of coffee, so found it interesting when Pavel mentioned that stuff was tasting too weak. Myself, I noted that I was getting the jitters and actual head spins. Slow on the uptake that I can be sometimes, finally noted that we had the regular blend (which I can only assume is a city roast - meaning, the least cooked coffee out there - this imparts a mild flavor and burns off the least amount of caffeine. Kind of like Dunkin Donuts stuff as opposed to your normal cup of Starbucks). Since we have so much of it, I'm actually thinking of playing at roasting a bit of it as I'm not nuts about the caffeine and the housemate's not too thrilled with the flavor. We'll see what happens.
*One thing we do make a point of doing is avoiding anything "fair trade," as there doesn't appear to be much "fairness" about it if one takes Webster's definition. I know that there are other definitions at play, though. In any event, Bad Catholic that I am, I just see it as lefty indulgence-selling.