A little while ago I innaugurated my home darkroom, and experienced the same things you mentioned. Coming from a college darkroom, my variables were greater in number (the paper being the only constant, actually).
I moved from condensers to a color head, developers were switched (switched again today) and my entire work ethic suffered a major revolution.

But I think that being able to work without people screwing up the chemistry, competing for space and creasing your prints was the major beneficial change for me. Not to mention being able to listen to N.P.R. or one of my CDs.

And now my prints look gentler than before, and being more hands-on makes them feel more "mine" if that makes sense.

In anycase, congratulations!