The final solution was two-fold:
I ended up staying a few nights in Burnaby. It's a bit further out, but it's far cheaper. The accommodation was the Vancouver Backpacker Guesthouse, and the closest Skytrain stop was Metrotown. Small rooms - I was in a room of 3, and not bunks made it feel like a house almost. Very comfortable, and I'd go back there again if I was moving to Vancouver as a short-term accommodation before finding a job.
However, as this time I only had 2 weeks there and wanted to be more central, I moved to Samesun Backpackers - and while I tried out three different rooms there over the course of my visits, I quickly established the 6-bed dorms were for the partiers (I had a horrendous night in one thanks to a couple of idiots), while the 4 bed dorms were for more chilled people. All rooms were immaculate, however (until the other backpackers get in). It's more expensive, but as a backpacker visitor, this is probably where you want to be.