I finally tried Win Sing at 1321 Avenue U, Brooklyn, which is #55 on Sietsema's top 100 cheap chow list. It really is a cut above.
Hot and sour soup was genuinely hot and sour, with a perfect balance.
Squid with black bean on (crisp) noodle had tender squid, non-gloppy sauce and lots of depth of flavor.
The next table had huge dungeness crabs in the standard eggy sauce that looked irresistible.
Almost all Chinese patrons, and ultra-low prices, although they said they priced the crabs by the pound.