Slider I don't know of any websites for beginers on painting, but I will be perfectly happy to exsplain to you all you need to know, and if your get really bored I can walk you through painting the sheetmetal yourself. A motorcycle is about one of the best things to start with due to size and the fact that most of it if one color won't be visable all the time so messups are easily concealed. If you can't find a painter let me know, shipping might be a beetch but I'd be happy to do it. Are you leaving the frame black, or painting it too?
For a job like this I recomend using PPG, its a very good paint, and its easily applied and mixed for firsties or pros. To get the effect your wife wants you'll need to use a 2 stage paint in preferably 3 stages. What this means is you need a base coat (white, or eggshell) and a top coat the clear. Like on the newer lincolns the offwhite mother of pearl is applied like this. Base coat, clear containing the pearl, then a secong coat of just pure clear. In your case you will be applying it like this, base coat first, then the pearls, then the pure clear. Mother of pearl is just a pearl that isn't refined to acsentuate certain colors, it contains equal amounts of all colors. A purple pearl is a pearl with the purple irrodesants acsentuated more. In short they are just filtering out what colors won't be reflected by light.
Selecting the type of paint from alkyde enamel. acrylic lacquer, acryic enamel, polyurethane, or Acrylic urethane enamel. Each of these paints when applies are more prone to, or resistent to certain things. Each of these paints are more durable thann the next, best being the acrylic urethane enamel and also being quite exspensive. Second best is polyurethane, it only downfall is no polishing. Those two paints are easiest to spray without polutants, best adhesion as well as resistance to gasoline with a good hardness.
Hardners, its a catalyst for the paint and top coat to harden faster, clearer, and also harder than without using ine. Harners enable a painter to get the job done faster and better, expecially if the paint booth/area is not heated to aid the paint and keep it from clouding.
Quickies are a one stage paint that you toss is the cup, add thinner/reducer and hardner and spray and let cure and drive the next day. Like a Maaco paint job. They look pretty good, but don't last as long as a 2 stage paint would.
Glossies, a real deep look in the paint due to candies or the apllication of multiple coats of clear with hand rubbing between to keep smooth.
Painting two tanks and three fenders you could get away with a pint of both clear and paint, might still have some left over for other parts to add a custom touch. If I can find the pearl I'll send it to you for free, but you'll still need to buy the mother of pearl. Buy the pearl in the bottle not by the ounce. you can buy an ounce for half of the bottle and two onces you can have a whole 7 ounce bottle. Buy the bottle, that way if you ever want to repaint you have it, or you could sell it by the ounce for half the price as the paintshop. If you want to paint it yourself let me know, I'll be happy to walk you through it, its easier then it looks/sounds. If I missed a question let me know.