Abelour - Craigellachie is kind of the heart of the matter as you'll likely want to go to the "major" items like Macallan.
For another view, don't forget Scotland is both bonnie and pretty compact ... you could very much just stay in Aberdeen. It's only an hour or two drive. (Stunningly beautiful, of course.)
It's perfectly commonplace to go to Speyside for the day, if you live in or around Aberdeen. (In my case it was "very commonplace!" :) )
Don't forget too, that "Speyside" is kind of spread out...for example my favorite really is Glenfarclas (photos - lovely isn't it?), which is a bit of a drive aways anyway.
I envy you and hope you have a good time. You've made the right choice with Speyside - peaty whisky is for naifs :)
(Also, don't forget, given that Macallan is the best whisky, their other property, Highland Park, is really the best whisky! So I suggest, forget about Speyside and go to the Orkneys :) )
Inexpensive accomodations would be a B&B ...
just go to tripadvisor, select Dufftown, B&B, within 25 miles, and there is a big selection. Any number of examples...
again it's a lot easier simply staying in Aberdeen and enjoying all the driving (if drunkenness is not an issue) (note that you have to drive home anyway even if you're staying in a local village; it's all spread-out.)