Thank you Barry, Kerik and Allen - the kind words and encouragement are appreciated!
Mark, my intention for the online workshop was for people exactly like you. It has 29 videos, private forum (and public forum as Kerik pointed out), and I do a monthly video podcast on it (this month from Barcelona, Spain!). You can learn the process there and perfect it over time.
As others have said, it is very possible to get "super-clean, film-like" plates with Wet Plate Collodion (Kerik's examples are great) if that's what you want to do. I do it sometimes, it just depends on the application and intention of the image - it will take some time, but very, very doable.
The process isn't difficult. It's just a lot of stuff to purchase, put together and remember - logistically, it's tough sometimes. The difficulty level has been exaggerated (I'm guilty of making it sound more difficult than it is, too). It's more like working from your gut (intuition) than from hard science and numbers (traditional film processing). There's a lot of lattitude in this process - that's one of the reasons I really enjoy it.
Again, if you want to make a science out of Collodion, you can - you can master it and control it, but be preapred to invest some time to accomplish that. You can learn the process online, too. I know you can, because I work with several who have.
I hope that helps. And I hope you join Chemical Pictures! (www.studioQ.info) Thanks again (everyone) for the support!