Well Sean, as a graduate of the Lee Charmichael school of matt cutting all I can add is keep a lot of fresh blades around, keep a good backing material (think Lee gave a scrap of 8 ply board to use), and a comfortable place to work - THIS IS IMPORTANT. Once I found the right place to work, and how to mark the board, it started going really fast. Never hated cutting a matt, but now don't mind doing the work at all.
Good luck - oh yeah!! You are required to mess up several sheets to begin with - I think it helps break in the cutter.