Two weeks ago I got a Visa in NY on the same day. I am a US citizen. Paid $300, for 3-month single entry. Was very efficient really. They did require an HIV test though but accepted a Russian test. No letter from employer was required.

One rule they stated is that you must wait a minimum of 5 days after getting the visa to enter Russia. Luckily, that fit perfectly with my travel plans.

Regarding non-Americans, the only thing I noticed was there was an announcement that Canadians had to wait a minimum of two weeks for their visas, while EU citizens (not including GB, Ireland, and Denmark if memory serves) could get any type of visa in 6-10 days for $100.

All this info was pretty much exactly what is stated at the consulate website, although I think there it says that HIV tests are needed only for one-year visas.