I'm just basically repeating other posters, but I completely agree that the most important things I've learned are to:
1. Scrunch out the crunch - I need the hard hold gel cast to set so my waves will stay all day, but once it's dry, scrunching the crunch gives me beautiful, soft looking waves - I couldn't stand it if I only could walk around with crunchy hair and had no other option
2. Learning your properties is incredibly helpful (I just couldn't figure mine out so I sent mine off for a hair analysis and it was probably the best money I spent when it comes to my CG journey - I was pretty far off on what I thought were my hair properties and once I found out what they actually were, it demystified a lot of things)

Hope this helps
2b, fine texture, normal porosity & elasticity (CG as of 12/2011)

Low-poo: UFD Rich & Funky
Cowash: VO5 Kiwi Lime
RO: Tresemme Naturals, Aubrey Organics GPB, Ion Effective Care, MillCreek Keratin
PT/DT: IAgirl's PT, GVP CB
LI: KCKT, Cure Care, CJ CCCC Lite
Styling: Curl Keeper, As I Am Jelly, UFD Curly Magic, CJ Curl Queen, TIGI Strong Hold Mousse


^^ day 1 of going CG; avatar = 6 months later