I have been monitoring the airfare for awhile for den-iah. Non stop is around $286 and connecting is around $254. There was a sale a few weeks ago for $233 ns, but our plans weren't in stone at that time.
I've been checking hotwire and the price has been $245 for the for their "Flexsave fare". Yesterday, I checked and they had a "Clearance Fare" for $217. I went to PL and tried at $165 which with fees would be $205 per ticket. PL came back with a counter of $245 per ticket. I declined. Since the hotwire option to choose your own times had 6am departures going both ways on America West, I suspected that if I purchased the "Clearance fare" I would end up with these early flights. So I decided to wait.
Having little experience with hotwire, today, I read the BFT Hotwire section and noticed that adamgould had posted a recent hotwire fare and talked about the entertainment book rebate of $30. So I marched upstairs and got my entertainment book and mine also has the $30 rebate coupon. So I went back to hotwire and booked the "Clearance fare" with the rebate. We ended up get a NW flight with a 9:30am departure time and 7:50am departure on the return flight. Much better. I found it interesting that there was not a NW option on the choose your own time section.
So we ended up with 5 r/t tickets DEN-IAH for $211 after the rebate is factored in with decent flight times.