All the reasons to get a tent are on me. Just found out there is an REI store in Brentwood, and will have to see some of this stuff in person.
As far as narrowing-down the choice, yeah. There are probably 5-10 on the list. 1st consideration is the size of the rolled-up tent and poles. I'm seeing 15-16 inch lengths which are really what is needed. Did I read correctly that the aluminum poles are better?
After noticing you had a tarp, I began to look for those as well. Definitly want a nylon version.
Just like someone standing on the edge of a pool wondering if the water is cold, I just need the push.