I just started about 3 years ago and I learned everything I needed to know about it right here on The Firing Line.
The only changes I'd make is to be sure that I had everything I needed picked out ahead of time. I probably spent $150 extra in shipping fees compared to getting everything in one or two orders.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.