Lots of people do cider in the US, but for specific questions you may want to go to the "cider brewing" section.
Knowing when it's done is similiar to beer-krausen falls, foam dissipates, airlock activity is very low and the specific gravity is consistent for 2-3 days. Cider takes awhile, so I would definately make sure it's done before bottling...unless you are using a secondary, then just go ahead and rack to the secondary when fermentation has slowed.
Secondary: Newcastle Clone
Bottled: Chocolate Caramel Cappuccino Porter, Vanilla Cream Ale, American Wheat
Party pigs: Hex Nut Brown Ale