Welcome to Portland!
Sorry you had a bad experience with the agent that was referred to you. Sometimes referrals are not always the best answer. Why is this? Sometimes the agent and the client just don't gel, other times the agent is just not the right agent for the type of property you may be looking for. In real estate, many agents try to be all things to all people. This is not, in my opinion, the best road to take. I specialize in the condo (and townhome) market. I do this because I want to be the best at what I do. I could not do this if I was selling a home in Lake Oswego one day and Happy Valley the next. I would not have a good grasp on pricing and would not be an expert in those areas.
Depending on where you want to be, and if in fact you do want a condo or maybe a small home in one of the fun areas such as along 23rd in NW Portland, I would interview the agents that work in these areas and types of homes. I am a big believer in selecting an agent that has a niche and is really good at what they do... in other words, they are not experts in everything and everywhere!
I would also say to use caution when searching for an agent on trulia on the 'Find an Agent' pages. When you bring up that page under the "Best Match" drop down you will see some agents with MANY homes sold and MANY recommondations. Don't be lured by these numbers. For example, on this page you may see someone with 40 recommondations or more and the scroll down and see an agent with "0" for both ( on this page MJ Steen is a great example) She is a fantastic agent, in fact one of the best on this page but you may look past her because of the numbers posted. You may also be swayed by someone with the PRO designation or the VIP. So that you know, PRO is given to an agent because they paid for it. Also, the VIP is given to agents who spend A LOT of time on Trulia. They are given points for everytime they speak. Many are posting all over the country just to gain VIP points ( such as the agent who posted on this question from California). This is just something you should understand. The truth is, agents like the one I mentioned are too busy selling houses and just don't have the time to answer questions on Trulia and Zillow everyday...just something to think about.
As you have learned, selecting an agent who will listen to your needs is very important. I would start by calling several agents who specialize in the urban markets. You may not have made a final decision on buying a condo, home or townhome but if you think this is what you are looking for, I would love to be included in your interviewing process. If you think that a home over on the Eastside in the areas with shops and restaurants might be a better fit, a great agent in that area to interview would be Billy Grippo. He is an excelleant agent who sells many homes in that area. ( Yet if you search him out on the Trulia Agent pages you will see that it shows "0" homes sold and "0" recommondations, and yet he is one of the best in that area?
You said that you want an agent that will listen to you. You also said you want an agent that is intelligent. Part of being smart in real estate is to know your boundaries. An intelligent agent is one who is a true professional. They take the time to understand contracts, they take the time to understand areas and they take the time to understand pricing. Again, I cannot be all things to all people but for someone who is looking for an inner city condo, loft or townhome, I can be a very reliable source for you to make a great real estate purchase.
And by the way, if you do decide to go the condo or townhome route, please feel free to visit 2 of my condo and townhome listings. http://www.PacificaTowerCondo.com http://www.Portland-Townhome.com
While I do not know your price point yet, I would be thrilled to assist you in anyway that I can and show you many other properties.
Best of luck to you!