The areas you have listed are great areas.
You should also consider, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos to name a few.
Craigslist is a great place to start, also check out the local Apartment Magazine
in Grocery Stores such as Safeway etc.
I offer guidance and consulting in home purchases. At your service when you are ready! 650-207-1421.
I suggest you take a look at Craig's list to see on rentals. I think your price point is going to determine where you live. If you have questions specific to a property or neighborhood I'd be happy to answer realizing that there are certain questions that realtors can not answer due to fair housing laws.
Coldwell Banker - Los Altos
Hopefully this works out for you and you are able to consider buying out here. If and when that happens be sure to check out the great 1st time homebuyer programs avalable from the Santa Clara Housing Trust. This allows for a 3% downpayment and subsidized mortgages. When you add in the Federal Government Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) you can buy for little more than it costs to rent in this area.
You should be able to find what are looking for in the areas you are searching. Your willingness to get a 1 BR opens up quite few possibilities in your price range.
There are lots of smaller , older complexes out there. These typically are in quieter locations and are more private than some of the newer mega-complexes. Sometimes there are even small cottages available. These typically have lots of charm but may be less updated than an apartment.
While there is no substitute for seeing a property in person, start taking a look at the Craigslist
rental ads. This will help you get a feel for the market prior to your arrival.
And one last thing - the traffic around Google HQ at highway 101 can be horrendous. You may want to get the Google bus routes and see if you can find something located where you can take a Google bus to work.