As I posted in the Introduction section, I found this site last month while looking for start-up directions for my newly replastered pool. Since then, I have read a lot on the TFP method and have converted from tabs to liquid chlorine and now understand the impact tabs and shock have had on my prior practice.
My pool is about 40 years old. I've owned it for 16 years and have maintained it myself (with "advice" from a local independent pool supply company) using tabs and shock and with relatively good results. I always tested the water myself using a standard test kit from the pool store (FC,CC pH, TA) and had monthly tests done by my local pool store. The only time I added stabilizer was when I first bought the house. A few years ago though, I had a severe algae problem and was unable to clear it up despite spending hundreds of dollars on shock and algeacide. I finally drained and manually cleaned the pool with Clorox. Upon restarting, I went back to the normal tabs and shock and got the pool back to "normal".
I now understand that the CYA level must have been way out of range (though my pool store never alerted me to high CYA ) and by draining the pool was able to achieve lower CYA levels to allow the chemicals to work, even if that wasn't my intent. Upon this current start-up, I have followed the advice given here and have switched to liquid chlorine. My pool water sparkles. I still have a bucket of 3" tabs which I will gradually use over time for when I am out of town and 25 lbs of shock that I don't intend to use.
I also got a TA-100 test kit which arrived yesterday. First results FC - 7.5 ppm, pH - 7.5, TA - 100, CH - 300, CYA - 45 (I didn't test CC or CA)
And after reading some of the threads on the pool build section, I don't feel too bad about my rebuild project. In addition to replastering, I had tile and coping replaced, new lights and a safety fence installed (grandkids). My contractor quoted 2 weeks to complete but wound up taking 14 weeks. His constant refrain was "this is a big pool" and I have "bigger" projects to complete, i.e. new builds. My grandkids were disappointed to miss most of the swim season and and my wife was not happy with cancelling our traditional 4th of July party but in the end the pool turned out great.