I always find my own place. I like having the extra money in my pocket and I like being in control of where my place is in relation to work....they can and will house you 30-45 min away if that's what works best for them.
I usually look extensively on Craigslist. I've found most of my places this way. Alot of times you can get a private owner with an extra place or that just manages a couple properties, and it's alot less formal and less hoops than a big apartment complex would be. (less dings and credit pulls on your credit report too). You can also go to places like apartment.com or apartment rating.com and call around. I've done this too. You can get it furnished but like the previous poster said, it's expensive. Usually to get it funished it's about 300 extra a month. On top of rent, and possibly like he said, a "higher" amount for renting for just 3 months. Again, I've avoided this by going through craigslist and private people that just own a couple buildings.
I also get furniture from Craiglist, like futons etc, and garage sales. You can get very decent stuff, and furnish your place for around $200 usually, depending on the city. Then when I leave the job, I post everything back on Craigslist and resell it. I think of it this way...I'd rather spend $200-300 once and buy things, and be able to probably resell them, then pay $300 a month for 3 months and not have anything to show for it. But it all depends on how flexible you and what you want
Sidenote...Just so you know, housing is an extremely flexible part of your allowance and recruiters can play with the amount very easily. Whatever they offer, ask for at least $200 more. That's been my experience and i've always gotten it. Good luck!