It looks like I've found what some consider the "perfect" starter press--a Kelsey 5 x 8. I found mine online, and am grateful that it was a tabletop platen press--we have no where to put anything larger (no matter how much I might have fallen for that Vandercook we learned on in letterpress class).
I've also joined the Ladies of Letterpress. It seems to be a fairly quiet social networking site, but I plan to use it, in conjunction with Briar Press's wealth of information to transfer what I've learned on the Vandercook to the Kelsey. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that MCBA will eventually offer a class on platen presses.
I think, sometimes, about the ways in which image + word can converge. This weekend, an introduction to letterpress, where I fell in love with the Vandercook, vehemently sought my own platen press, made my first two broadsides and greeting cards, and was taught by the hugely patient and ever-charming Regula Russelle at MCBA.