Hi all - I just signed up to say thanks to everyone for all the valuable info. Bonsai is something I've been fascinated with for several years but I'm only now beginning to get serious about taking the plunge. Well, except that time I fell victim to a "Home Depot" mistake, but we'll just move past that.
Victrinia, your post was maybe the most singularly informative set of paragraphs I've read yet...and I've been doing lots of research over the past several weeks. I think you hit the nail on the head about there not being enough info on the horticultural side of things.
Thanks to StickFish, Norm and Marsman too. You all have encouraged me to continue researching and, hopefully, put it all into practice soon.