Hi Mmichael -
Hotel costs -
www.myswissalps.com/pl antrip/doityourself/sa vemoney
Hotel des Alpes is on the list for Luzern. The prices there are standard (or even a bit low) for Luzern at each season for good hotel with a specially good location. The kitchen is only average; the rooms are quite nice, with great views.
More than likely, their computer raises prices as rooms fill up, so you may be seeing that phenomenon,too.
This thread talks about a good option....still not cheap, but cheaper:
Your itinerary as first presented is a good one.
As Annika noted, the visits to Gruyeres and Broc are difficult to do as a day trip from Luzern, although, I think, not impossible. You might be able to fit in one, at least.
The station for Maison Cailler is Broc-Fabrique
The timetable can help you:
Once you have found the route and time, click on the "+" to the left of the entry for a particular journey. In the footnotes that appear, you will find a map of the route.
Another idea is to free up a day by not touring Zuerich, or adding a day to your schedule ( you did indicate some flexibility on number of days) and go from Luzern to the vicinity of Gruyeres,Bulle, Broc for a night, split up the visits over one afternoon and the next morning. From Luzern, take the fast route via Bern and onward, and come into, for example, Bulle from the north. Then take the train to Montreux and down the lakeside and along the Rhone Valley. Three hours 42 minutes to Andermatt from Montreux. The ride down into Montreux from about Montbovon is spectacular - in my opinion, the best part of the Golden Pass route. Adds an hour and 20 minutes from Bulle to Montreux via Montbovon, less from Gruyeres.
About 6 hours if you go all the way from Montreux to St. Moritz and skip Andermatt. That route covers the majority of the Glacier Express routing.
This map may help you:
If you try to take the Chocolate Train, it will be difficult to schedule all of that.
Regarding the Glacier Express, it runs on regular tracks, and so do other trains. You can make the journey without booking the Glacier Express, which can give you more flexibility in choosing times and stopovers.
The GEx has larger windows, but you can see the same sights from a regular train. The journey has really nice mountain scenery, so,the ride is worth taking in some fashion.
Whether it worth the extra cost for a reservation and dining car reservation is a matter of personal preference.