no where on Kowloon you will be within 20 mn of IFC...so back to square one and finding some affordable place on HK island close enough to IFC.
I agree with you in general, but perhaps Florient Rise in Olympic might be an exception. It's right next to the MTR station (directly connected via covered walkway) and I've walked from my friends apartment there to the station platform in around 6-7 minutes so you should be able to get to IFC within 20 mins. The OP could check it out if they don't find anything suitable island-side.
Once you arrive to Central you have to walk up. It isn't as simple as "it's just 15 minutes away". There is walking time to/from MTR, office, and home. Central MTR to IFC office is a good 10 minutes walking too, not to mention the swarms of people pushing and bumping, not exactly my scene but we are all different. I would rather live in Kowloon station, walk down 10 minutes + 5 minutes MTR + 5 minutes to IFC office (so 20-25 minutes give or take). Kennedy Town to IFC is definitely longer.
I've been to Kennedy Town lately, it's up and coming, but I wouldn't recommend newbies to HK to venture off the beaten path. Let them live in the heart and have the conveniences, then for their second year if they really want to live in Kennedy Town, go for it.
I'll second shock at KT being "off the beaten path" when there are so many gweilos there and new buildings with all the mod cons.
Kowloon Station is full of families and it's expensive for rent and basic things (e.g. 360 ridiculously overpriced supermarket, restaurants). My husband and I actually looked out of curiousity what $25k would get us if we'd come here single and you can easily get a 1 bed in KT/SYP in a building with pool, gym, and clubhouse for that. All your neighbors will also be singles/young couples. I don't know the eastern side as well but I bet you can find the same in Wanchai.
I don't see the appeal of Kowloon Station at all for this guy. Someone with kids, a helper, a pram and a stay at home wife - sure it's perfect.