Okay, so we've decided to go with carpet. I understand the trend towards wood flooring, I really do. It's gorgeous. But like the tile, or at least the tile we chose, wood is expensive and would need to cover much more square footage than the carpet. If we thought we'd be in this house for years to come, we might go that route. It's hard to put thousands into a home you feel is short-term. And we still have a couple things that reeaaally need to be done to update our home (such as the vintage '70s appliances). Translation: more money needed.
But here was another deciding factor. We've been living with this hard surface floor for over a week now (since I already pulled up the old carpet), and honestly we DON'T LIKE IT. Alan and I are barefoot people. With a hard surface, there's apparently nowhere for the little specs of dust and debris to hide except on your feet. Ewww. We miss the soft, cozy feel of carpet. And besides that our furniture is sliding all over the place, particularly when our 60 lb dog dives into or pushes off from it.
I read everyone's suggestions from here and Facebook to Alan, and it was fun to get your opinion. But by Friday we'll have ordered our new, comfy, warrantied-from-cat puke-stains, frieze carpet!