where I develop the negatives and scan, however, my long term goal is to learn how to properly make dark room prints
That's how I started, and still do this for colour (get the negs back on CD from the lab). However, I have now progressed to doing my own B&W developing and printing. Picked up the various bits of kit mostly on the 'bay. It's definitely worth doing - real prints are so much nicer than most scans, and it isn't really so difficult, and well worth it.