Well it's been a week since i started playing the mandolin and i have to say i'm having a great time! I rented a mandolin but in that time i decided that i needed my own so i ordered one from Acoustic guitar in calgary and i just picked it up today. I'm really happy with the whole purchasing experience with mike at acoustic guitar and i would recommend him without reservation.
I decided to go with a Mid-Missouri after reading all the positve comments here about them as a good first purchase and i am very happy with it.
I decided to go with the M-11, i liked the sound of it after seeing some clips online and the simple looks of it appealed to me as well.
As for practicing i've been sitting down for about 45 minutes a day when i'm working and longer on my days off,getting started on the aonzo family scales and i have "mandolin primer for beginners" by ber casey that i am working through. I've also been in touch with John Reischman about some lessons, just waiting to hear back from him.
Really enjoying this site, i've found plenty of good information here and i've barely scratched the surface!