Thanks very much for your detailed description of what you went through. That's great info about the additional letters needed. And like you, i was helped out by batjka and his tip about needing the triplicate forms notarized. That definitely wasn't clear on the forms.
Anyway - it sounds like it wasn't too painful overall - once all the hoops have been jumped through. I was under the impression that the applicant would meet one-onone with a judge - who would conduct an interview - about who the applicant is and why they'd want a handgun. It's nice to hear that's not a part of it.
Good luck with the application - i hope it goes quickly for you.