So I took the plunge, bought the equipment, tried to build my own wort chiller (and failed), got all of my ingredients for John Palmer's Cincinnati Pale Ale yesterday and for the last two hours have been brewing. My brewing pot is now sitting in a bathtub full of cold water, which I'll have to change periodically. The only thing I was worrying about was my yeast. I added them to water which was a little over 105F (the max recommended by Palmer) and was afraid I'd killed them. I added a bit of sugar to proof it and it seems to slowly be doing the good old foaming thing so I think I'll be okay...
It's been an interesting experience so far I have to say. I thought the malt extract would be sweet tasting, and I thought the hops would smell bitter but it appears the extract smells a bit like soy sauce (and doesn't taste that sweet) and the hops smell nice and flowery, a nice aroma!
So, in about 45 more minutes my wort might be chilled to the necessary temp for me to pour it in the fermenter bucket. I hope this turns out well!