From a rookie, or about to be rookie, I have to say that reading all the impassioned arguments for various positions is actually VERY informative. I have tried to ask at each of the fly shops I shop at in the Portland area and it seems like each one speaks a different dialect of the same basic language. I have found it very intimidating because I just can't afford to make a $1000 mistake so I just say ok and leave the store trying to decipher what was informative and what was salesmanship. I consider myself pretty transparent so a wounded ego isn't really a worry but a wounded wallet is. I must say, however, after reading this entire thread it is no longer a mystery to me why gear fishermen laugh at us.