Aiea isn't bad. I live nearby, over by Salt Lake. Traffic is slow everywhere on Oahu basically but Aiea is so close it doesn't matter. If you're going to Hawaii Kai, to Ewa, to Makakilo then yeah, traffic is an issue but seriously at most it would take like 10 minutes from JBPHH to Aiea. BTW, were you on the March '10 boards? If you don't end up getting the house and you aren't diametrically opposed to military housing Halsey Terrace is nice (The 3brs off of Salt Lake, past the NEX, super close to JBPHH)..
I thought your name looked super familiar! Yea, no locked gates. I can PM you some pictures if you want. Are you guys already here or still en route?
I live next door (we only have one son, typically a very long wait if you only have one child).. I have friends that live in HT though. I gotta say though for the price you can't beat it.. We used to live in Kaneohe, and I love Kaneohe/Kailua, but the price is just ridiculous for what it is. We were spending $2600 on rent for our 3br, plus $200 for electric, plus $80 for water.. Here we pay 2040. That's it. Beyond that it's a central location, it's not a bad drive into town if it's not 4pm, and pretty much whatever you need is within reach.
I'm sorry. It's far from an easy situation. I know housing sucks but call them, the wait might not be as bad as you expect, and there's AMR over the hill past Target that you probably qualify too.. I'm almost certain the wait isn't months for Navy housing, they hold back a certain percentage of houses to get families settled faster and settled before their TLA runs out.
That's such a bummer. I really thought they maintained open houses from our appointment, we waited less than a month for our house but they said that was the earliest we could have a house because the quicker turn over ones were for people just arriving.. :\ I wish I could help. I'll keep my eyes peeled and ask around if anyone is renting anything decent soon.. I hope this doesn't ruin your whole experience :( Hawaii has some flaws and housing in general is certainly one but there's a lot of good things to experience here too.. If there's anything I can do let me know. I'm sorry you're going through this.