Over the weekend work kept me from making the upgrade to OSX 10.4, even though I received my pre-ordered upgrade a day early (courtesy of living at a transport hub...).
Just as well, because it gave me a few spare moments to reconsider my upgrade strategy. Rather than performing an archive and install as I normally would, I went ahead and pushed out an erase and installl, followed by an import of the user and application preferences I cared most about.
The advantage, from my perspective, of this process is that I ended up with a truly (and tested) bootable archive (courtesy of SuperDuper) in case things go horribly awry. That and three CD-Rs of extra backups and the ongoing Retrospect backups let me feel reasonably secure.
But boy, did it take some time. I don't have that much data I use regularly on the PowerBook, but I do have a ton (about 20GB) of audio content on the iPod synchronized with iTunes. Copying that back and forth to the external FW accounted for a lot of the upgrade time. That and the thorough checking of the upgrade DVD. But once I started this morning, I was back up and running in under 2 hours, including the applications I most care about.