I was reading Badger's account of a dating disaster and it occurred to me that most of the discussion, male and female, was missing the point. If you are a man who is searching for a partner, as opposed to a player seeking to score, then the entire subject of "what is the ideal place to take a first date" is fundamentally a category error.
I know a few guys who worry and put lots of thought into the first date. They want to make a "good" impression. Once, the first dinner date cost a fellow $100. That's crazy! Even if the gal is into you and agrees to meet up for a second date, what then? The next date, in monetary terms, will likely be a downgrade. That's the exact wrong way to go about it.