First of all, a big thanks to everyone. I have been lurking for a long time and posted a few times with questions and everyone really helped me make my first race a LOT of fun. I ended up 2nd among beginners and 4th in my age group (but before anyone assumes I am fast, I think the whole pool of entrants ranged from beginner to casual, except for the top 10 or 15- which were pretty impressive athletes). Thanks to all the advice here, I was under 2:15 and 1:15 in my transitions, and only made the "normal" number of rookie mistakes.
Now I have the bug, and I guess that means I need to spend some money, right? I am thinking a wetsuit is/should be the next purchase. I have a lake swim sprint and a river swim off-road tri planned, and if all goes well I am really hoping to do the steelhead HIM this August. Is that enough races to justify a wetsuit, even if it's a cheaper one? Does anyone have any experience with any of the cheapos on ebay (particularly on the sizing)?