We lived near the Prince Alfred Hotel on Bay Street and it was very noisy on Friday and Saturday nights at closing time. However, other times it's not too bad. A bit of traffic but you got used to it. It was worth it to be in such a great location. A great mix of people and a nice community feel. Didn't find it tacky at all!
Bit noisey for me - buses and trucks turning off to the Port off Graham St. Higher up is better, but further from the beach....
Great for lifestyle- it is the best place for people who want a mix between CBD living and the beach. Only concern with Bay street is how busy it is and it does some a little tacky.