Really appreciate all the input and wanted to make two additional points:
1) I hope I have not offended anyone in suggesting that Tri-X/D76 was the "training wheels" or "beginner" solution. Quite the opposite, in fact - I chose it because, based on what I have seen, it is the look that I personally like the most. I can definitely see using that combination for a long time.
2) On using 1 or 2 films - here is my problem. I feel like I am basically having to "re-learn" photography when using film. With digital, ISO is almost irrelevant (although wedding shooters in churches would vigorously disagree) and the immediate feedback of the LCD combined with the overall flexibility of RAW leads to some sloppy technique (or at least it did on my part). As I learn about film and "exposing for the shadows", I find myself having to go back to step one. To date, I have trying to shoot at box speed, spot-meter for the shadows and stop down two stops (or in the alternative, spot-meter the brightest and darkest points of the scene and take a straightline average). I have absolutely no idea what is the "right" way or whether there even is a "right" way, but I would like to get to a point where I can determine a real film speed, punch in a spot-meter reading that reflects what I would like to be middle gray, and then go from there.
My plan at this point (and would love to hear from you guys on this) is to take my RZ and 3 backs with 3 rolls of Tri-X. I will shoot one at box speed, one 2/3rds to a stop over, and one 2/3rds to a stop under (the same 10 subject images, in each instance exposing for middle gray). Develop all for the time recommended for box speed exposure and pick the set of negatives I like the most. Next, shoot another three rolls at the desired film speed (same subjects, exposed for middle gray) and develop one at box speed, one at 30% time more time and one at 30% less time.
Admittedly, this plan seems like a mish-mash of what I have read here and on other sites (I sound so stupid saying "I read it on the Internet") so someone should absolutely feel free to call me an idiot, point me to a book, correct my plan, etc.
As always, all help is appreciated.