I was going based on my life there which I considered simple.
That's the thing - for us foreigners, we very often find ourselves wanting more than we would have back home - for instance, living in a nicer flat, or eating in nicer restaurants.
I don't see how I could have lived on 1500 unless I was just renting a room and eating at milk bars.
I don't know how it's done either, but quite a few people in Poznan do just that. 1500 is almost a standard "graduation salary" for those who didn't study something that gives you the big bucks upon graduation.
and I don't understand how anyone can say one can live alright on 4500 Brutto, what with rents for a half decent place standing at around 2000zl per month
You can't look at it like this though - for a start, most people living in half decent places will have partners taking in a decent salary too. 2000zl a month is nothing if you're taking in 8000zl a month netto. And if they don't have partners, they're far more likely to be sharing a place with someone, or living in a much cheaper place.
I mean warsaw has a higher cost of living than many European cities now, more than Berlin
Berlin is bankrupt and quite frankly economically ****** though. No matter how hard they try, Berlin is still quite unappealing if you don't have a public sector job or if you're young - all the big business is really elsewhere. After all, look at how the German government had to beg and persuade DB to stay in Berlin!