Well based on the already fantastically helpful posts I've read, I've already learned a few things:
1) the DW and myself will take driving courses (up to and including bus driving training if need be), hopefully prior to taking possession of any rig we decide upon. We live in Florida, so we don't need any special DL for a 45' rig, tag axle or air brakes. Still, I can't imagine we wouldn't get an insurance discount by having the Commercial Class B designation for our drivers license. Plus, the security of knowing that we'd be properly educated to operate our substantial investment would give us great piece of mind. I've driven in almost 40 states including driving a 26' truck across the country when we moved (hit 16 states driving through the south on that one) and in my humble and personal experience (I really don't want to step on anyone's toes here, but I just gotta say it)... Tampa drivers are the gawd awfulest, worst drivers (I see so much texting and tailgating here)... not to say that there aren't bad drivers everywhere which only makes improving one's skills all the more important. So I don't want to just take a course, I want the DW and I to be over-prepared if anything else. My uncle still is an OTR trucker and I've ridden with him before and I still get headaches from all the facepalming from that trip.
2) The Rig or rigs I'm researching and starting to fall in love with this year may be totally different next year. I gotta stop that. Vendors swap chassis, floorplans, furniture, even dash layouts and I have to balance not just my needs, but my wife's and we're an "opposites attract" type couple (25 years this October). I might really be geeked about the Entegra Cornerstone or Newmar Essex, but who knows what I'll be looking at once I get closer? Even 9 months can see a lot of change now that manufacturers are doing incremental changes in their product lines.
3) start making checklists! I'm already bad at recollecting steps off the top of my head and when I engineered workflows for my networked solutions, I made checklists for people all the time and they worked great. It's pretty clear to me that having things like Pull-in, Pull-out, camp hook-up, camp un-hook, cabin cleaning, exterior cleaning, fuel and maintenance checklists would be awfully handy and there's probably more. I dunno if that sounds OCD, but I just don't want to forget anything. If there's one thing I've learned from you great folks, it's that there's almost always a price for forgetting something and, frankly, I'd rather put my limited resources into my rig and my fun, not my mistakes.
Btw, I've been an admin of various football forums for over 14 years and I gotta tell ya, this forum and this group of posters is the bees knees. I'm so happy to be here and so glad for all the help. This all started a couple of months ago with me having a massive RV jones. I thought it would go away, but it actually started keeping me up at night. Thought the wife would think I was crazy, but she loved the idea. Wasn't crazy about FTing and I realize she was right. That wouldn't work for either of us.
And without this forum, I dunno how I would proceed. I wouldn't feel comfortable just going to a dealership and we don't know anyone who RVs. So, again, thanks all and for now, I'm on the road with you in spirit...