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Madrid: train or plane to Malaga

Should we take the fast train to Malaga or fly on Spanair after one night in Madrid? Is the train station easily accsssible in downtown Madrid or is the airport equally convenient if we stay downtown? And where is it good to stay for one night and another morning in Madrid?

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Either...or.....the train takes about 4 hours, so just as fast as air, but with less of a commute, since the station you'll leave from, Atocha, is close to downtown...the airport is not. Anything around Puerta del Sol, Gran Via, or the Prado will be a quick taxi ride from the train station....and cabs are relatively inexpensive in Madrid. Check for "hostals," good quality 2 and 3 star hotels which can be an excellent bargain, especially if you're only going to be there one night.