To my surprise, I was met at the gate by a representative of Top-Deck Travel and escorted through Immingration and Customs and whisked across the city (through hellacious traffic) to the Indiana Hotel on the west bank of the Nile. The hotel is "old school" but comfortable enough (with an little Internet cafe on the first floor).
On my way over to the ATM at the nearby Sheraton, I "made friends" with an Egyptian on the street who, not surprisingly, had something to sell. I wound up in his papyrus shop and wasted about 45 minutes listening to him and his brother give me all sorts of deals on Egyptian art and touring opportunities, before I begged off and went about my business. The fellow who struck up the conversation was certainly friendly and pleasant, but it really is a hassle to be thought of as prey by every enterprising Indian or Egyptian I walk by on the street.