As a counter, I've never once added raisins (or tannins) to my meads. They taste great.
Both digdan and I are correct in our methods. Mead is what you make of it.
I wouldn't go with champaign yeast though...get something slightly less 'aggressive'... I think EC-1118 is a good 18% ABV wine yeast...won't be so 'bone dry'.
And you'll need to age it a year. Also honey isn't exactly 'cheap'. 3lbs of good honey will run you probably $15 (not expensive, but not 'dirt cheap' by my standards)
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10