Cyanotypes are only not archival if they've not been washed properly so the excess unreacted chemicals come out (eg no more yellow in the highlights). Cyanotypes are also unusual in that they like acidic enviroments so "archival" papers with buffers and stuff are actually bad for cyanotypes and will make them fade/bleach. I think blue-toned silver gelatin prints are NOT archival because the iron in them reacts with the silver which causes it to degrade... at least that's my understanding.
I've found cyanotypes extremely easy to work with and if you're in the US, you don't realise just how lucky you are to have cheap large format lith film available from places like freestylephoto. I'm seriously considering importing some 8x10 lith film from them because even though it'd cost me 60orso UKpounds (the shipping and VAT and duty approximate), that's still cheaper than lith film here (for a hundred sheets) and not much more than cheap fomapan panchromatic film which is what I'm currently using for enlarged negatives for 35mm to 4x5inch film. The chemicals I bought back in April last year are still going, it cost me maybe 13ukpounds for them. I've found loads of different cheap papers that work happily with cyanotype so you don't have to go with the expensive arches aquaelle or cranes papers. Ortholith film is the way to go if you're scared of working in complete darkness and can get the film at a reasonable price because then it's no different than working with paper from what I've heard... you even use paper developer to get pictorial contrast.
Oh yeah and the light box? Don't bother building your own if you're doing about 8x10 size, just get a facial tanner, those things can be had for less money than buying the bulbs.