This is EXACTLY the kind of information I was looking for. Thank you all for actually reading my post and giving me very specific answers to my questions.
I agree, minilabs were far better 20 years ago than they are now. Most of the stuff I've had done lately is worse than what I got at the grocery store processor 20 years ago! (although at the time, that was probably Kodak).
So the Freestyle chems are really worth it over the 3 bath kits. Sounds great, I'll add that to the list. This board rocks!