I agree with Nige about getting an idea of what your neg looks like before heading into a darkroom. Scanning negs can be a helpful way of screening what you have before you spend time and $$ in the darkroom. But you have to know the capabilities and quirks of your scanner/monitor/printer as well.
What you see on your monitor is definitely not what you will get in silver. To get what you get on your monitor will sometimes require a lot of work, BUT the silver (and other wet process) prints are far more beautiful IMHO than any digital print that I've ever seen.