And to add to your last comment....-40 degrees Celsius (or Fahrenheit) in a snow storm...LOL.
Your right Mike, much of these tidbits are personal opinion and nothing but nothing is a better teacher than experience. I've been painting for well over 30 years and have had the benefit of learning from many experienced technicians. I've been able to avoid many costly mistakes by listening and made many mistakes by not. The internet and forums such as this one are a great resource for those looking for information, a tool that both you and I never had when we where starting out and we needed to rely on the people that we surrounded ourselves with. Today, the future painters have a leg up so to speak, being able to access the knowledge of experienced professionals, such as yourself, from all over the world. This does help level the learning curve but when all is said and done, it boils down to the same challenges that we had, to be able to maintain the passion for the trade. It seems to me that the best painters are the ones that give a damn, care about the end result and don't need to rely on a rainy day to deliver a paint job to a customer.
With respect to Single Stage being easier than Base Clear, I suppose it's a matter of opinion. The first paint job I ever did was Base Clear (my father in-laws car). I did all the prep work, the painter at the shop I was working at was supposed to come in after hours and paint it. He didn't show (fell asleep in front of the TV), so I took the vast knowledge of painting I had at the time (painting inside fenders, doors, etc.) and painted the car. It turned out well and after that, I wanted to paint more, trying to improve with every job. Maybe my opinion would be different if my first complete with Base Clear hadn't turned out Okay...what it did do was instill the passion, to become more creative and strive to put out the best paint job possible. I have painted thousands of vehicles in my career and in all those vehicles I can honestly say that only two of them, after I was done, I could look at and feel that a polisher wouldn't do anything to improve the finish. I feel a good painter is also a painter that is more critical of his own work than anyone else. My passion is still there, the day that passion leaves me is the day I leave the trade.