One thing that will help with the trial and error process is figuring out your hair properties- not the curl pattern, which can be very transient, but properties like texture, porosity, elasticity and density (texture and porosity really being the two most important). Livecurlylivefree.com has fantastic information for determining properties. Once you know this, you can find people who have similar properties and see what's working for them. There's also a thread in the 2s forum (probably a few pages back) called "share your hair biography," which will basically provide you with tons of possible hair twins. For example, texture plays a a huge part in how much protein your hair will need/tolerate. My hair is fine in texture and I use protein daily plus do heavy protein treatments and I've never ended up over-proteined. On the other hand, we're having some extra cold days this winter and I'm finding that my hair has a limit for using glycerin.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel