And as John Palmer said, it was easier than I expected.
I have two extract batches under my belt and decided to make the jump. I bought a 10 gallon beverage cooler from Amazon for $40, put an octagonal cpvc manifold in the bottom and put a ball valve in according to FlyGuy's sticky.
I used a pre-crushed Irish Red Kit from Northern Brewer. Everything went well, I put my 3 gallons of strike water in and the temp stabilized at 156°, slightly high, added some ice. Hit 153°, so I went in the house to watch TV and drink beer with my assistant. Hit the 1 hour mark popped the top to have a look. I thought "boy the water looks pretty clear, I don't know if that worked."
Cracked the valve to vorlauf and the wort looked like apple cider: yes! I got 2 gallons of first runnings so 4.5 gallons went in for the sparge. Boiled like usual and threw it in the bucket. It is now happily bubbling away.
The only screw up: I never took an OG or FG reading, so I have no idea how efficient my setup is. Oh well, it should be beer in the end. Plus, it gives me reason to do another batch (like I need a reason). With one pot and one cooler I was able to brew 5 gallons in 3:45. But, I think I can cut that time down even more.