You have a lot of options that would keep you in your price range, and well within your commuting timeframe.
My area (of Essex County) can offer you a 45-60 min bus commute to Port Authority........or a 37-45 min train commute to Penn Station, via the mid town direct train.
Lots of great shopping in the area (check out the Mall at Short Hills for starters!)....recreation - hiking trails and parks............fabulous restaurants and small boutiques............great schools, too.
Some towns to consider are:
W. Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, S Orange, Roseland, the Caldwells, Florham Park and E. Hanover (these last 2 towns are in Morris County)......
Please feel free to check out my website where I have a number of useful links offering information on schools and the towns mentioned above.
Best wishes, and please don't hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of help, or for more information.
Prudfential NJ Properties