Just came back from a 5 day long weekend in Dublin. I'll try to do a trip report when I get the time. We (5 novices and myself) at the Harding Hotel, just across the street from Christchurch. Very highly recommended. We got a single, double and triple room. By European standards, our double was quite large and actually had drawer and closet space. Rooms were clean and modern, daily maid service timely and well done. Our room (402) looked right out to Christchurch and had very little street and pub noise.
The staff, while not effusively friendly, was very professional and helpful (which I prefer over empty, over-the-top happy anyday). They bent over backwards to get my tired co-travelers into the first clean rooms of the day. Check in wasn't until 3, we arrived at 7am, but were into our rooms by 11.
We got the "full Irish breakfast included" rate, which was provided at the attached Copper Alley Bistro. Turns out they let you order anything you want from the menu. The salmon and scrambled eggs were to die for! Big as I am, I couldn't finish the Irish Breakfast. Super nice people running the place...but get there by 8am weekdays or you'll be waiting.
Also attached to the hotel (and accessible without going outside) was Darkey Kelly's pub. A billion pubs to go to in the city, but we kept going back there. Again, superb people, very fast service, nice mix of locals and tourists, and live music every night. Best fish and chips and chicken wings ever which, it turns out, are supplied by the Copper Alley. Second night there, the staff remembered us and treated us like locals. Place is absolutely packed every night, with good reason.
Everything except the Gaol was walking distance. 10 minutes to Trinity, 2 minutes to Temple Bar, brisk 15 minutes to Guinness and maybe a few minutes more of a walk to Jameson's. Our day trip to Howth involved a 10-15 minute walk to Tara station. Nice location without the rowdy noise. Highly recommended.