My suggestion, Brian, would be to get some padding first.
I think I'm permanently bruised from all the flipping and flopping I've done in search of my ideal portrait lens for 8x10.
I've come to the tentative conclusion that portrait lens choice depends first on the style of portaits one prefers, and how strongly one wishes to avoid the foreshortening associated with using too short a lens at too close a distance. Personally, I prefer to maintain more camera-to-subject distance, combined with tighter head shots. So, preferring at least 2x "normal" focal length, I've been on the lookout for a nice Nikkor T (for the shorter bellows extension) in the 720mm range. Interestingly, I've found the 360T I have will cover 8x10 for tight head shots, but it's just too close (intimidating) for subject comfort.
On the flip (or is it the flop?) I like the look of some of the older portrait lenses like those Jim has been experimenting with. Unfortunately, they mostly lack modern shutters with flash sync, making them a bit more problematic for use with studio strobes.
So, I'm still undecided. I wish you better luck in making a choice.