John, that was the general trend of all the reviews I could find. It's nice that someone did a formal review with new riders though - that would have been extra helpful for making the choice.
Backmarker, I'm glad I can contribute something worth reading. I'm the smallest of fry compared to the monster ride reports on here, but it's good to hear that even the clumsy beginner stories are noteworthy
Thanks for the comments. I tend to dive headfirst into things, but like you said, this was a much higher dive than usual. Hopefully other people that are considering getting into riding can get something from it. I should have stressed ATGATT even stronger. I hinted at it a couple times, but I'm a strict follower, and I want to pass that on to anyone starting as well.