Woot. My second post! I started brewing beer at 17. Started with a Scottish brown ale kit, and that's the last kit I've ever bought Funny thing is my parents were all support because "At least he's staying home and has a hobby... I guess."
So for the last 7 years I've been brewing 5 gal batches at least 6 times a year. I tend to like 'em thick and dark, but I've made a couple mild brown ales, a honey pale ale (Third batch, turned out great, ask me more about brewing with honey, it's... involved). But I'd have to say my prize pigs would be my maple syrup porter, my coffee stout, and the previously mentioned honey pale ale.
Althought I do keep logs on everything I always brew by the seat of my pants (I view recipes as more "Guidelines") I always bottle, always bottle condition (YEAST IS GOOD, D***IT) and I rack to secondary about half the time, when the urge hits me. I don't have the room to do all grain, although I have done it, but I always do a single step infusion for about 1/4 to 1/3 of my total wort.
My advice to everyone would be:
1)Keep a log on EVERYTHING, Times, Quantities, Temperatures... everything. You learn more this way.
2)Always Rack your beer, even though I don't. You will taste a difference.
3)Invest in a really large pot, instead of doing the whole 2-3 gallon boil and then watering down your wort routine. Again, you will taste a difference.
4)Wort Chillers. You could go immersion or counterflow, and argue both for decades. Either way. Buy/Make one, and marvel at the clarity of your next batch.
5)Always drink alot of your homebrew really fast. This has the twofold benefit of getting you shnockered and forcing you to brew more...
Oh and Tomorrow I brew my convoluted version of a Belgian Wit, just because for some reason I haven't made one yet.