To start our trip to the Netherlands off, we chose to stay one night in Haarlem to acclimate and recover from jet-lag before moving on to Amsterdam. Because we wanted no surprises, and a good night sleep, Amrath Grand Hotel Frans Hals turned out to be a good choice. Modern, comfortable rooms, great location (easy walk from train and into the main square), reasonably priced, and super helpful staff (over email and in person).
Agree, breakfast is overpriced. We just wanted some coffee, fruit and yogurt (which proved hard to find at 7 AM - finally found a grocery). Anyway, other than that, I recommend the hotel.