@Satay: sorry, I think I wasn't quite clear in what I wrote. What I mean was that I'd have to most likely decide whether or not to take the transfer before heading back out to hit the ground a find a flat (for sure, I wouldn't secure a place from the net). To be fair, Akasaka these days is much more expensive than 15000, though then I was a single guy and on a full package.
@TheBrit: Yeup. The Sakas is a really great place - especially in winter when the lights and ice skating rink come out. Truthfully, I tend to agree that I haven't ever seen anything that was really drop-dead nice in Hong Kong similar to Akasaka or Wimbledon (but again, my exposure was more limited to HK Island and southern Kowloon). Perhaps for Wimbledon, the closest I've seen in HK is Kowloon Tong (meaning the local perception of it is similar to how locals in London view Wimbledon). I presume you are doing something similar now in HK?
Re: Sony - perhaps, quite possibly. The cost cutting debate is going to be an interesting one. Fact is, TV business losses have been ongoing for 8 years and the business has fundamental issues. Even if they were to seriously down size, the problem is Japanese people just don't get fired and don't retire. So essentially, the very senior people who have made certain decisions and are, quite possibly, out of touch with the current industry trends would simply be shifted to other businesses within the group (which prohibits moving in talented new employees, generally speaking). So rather than deal with the problem, it might possibly just be shuffled about. I like the direction the company is headed from the content side, though.
@MovingIn: Thanks for the suggestion. Also, I can flex a little bit on the distance, but I think 45 minutes would be the max (so basically 30 minutes actually on the MTR plus a bit of walking on each side). Ideas? Realistic?
@Ching: Yeah, definitely noted. But as mentioned, she won't be working as she would be focusing on further developing her own business. So actually not so concerned about whether she can find a job in HK or not (not planning for her to work for another company, so long as her business is doing well and she is building equity).
@Mat: That is a good approach, however it doesn't really get me through the nego period, where I have to have expectations managed from both sides of the table (theirs and mine). If I see that, within reason, we cannot see eye-to-eye or I cannot meet my own personal requirements (again, within reason, as I'm not solid steel and can flex on certain things) I'd rather turn down the offer if I know it is impossible to work out, rather than get there, be dissatisfied, and then have to consider looking at different companies (that just wouldn't be a professional way to handle it, truthfully). So really, what I'm trying to do now is the due dilligence to have realistic exectations going into everything, given the constraints I have being in London and with the timing.
@All/Any (in general): I was guessing 30 minutes actual train time would open up possibilities, but perhaps I am mistaken? I guess, maybe a different way of looking at it is: how far out would I have to be for 15k? or, if within my radius, how much would the rent (generally if you know what I mean) be?