After calling around and finding out that closing services are around $350-400, I think we're going to try doing it ourselves. I think Speedo is correct in pointing out that there's plenty of advice here, even some differing opinions which shows posters have really thought about what they've said. Plus I've got a brother-in-law with experience and the pool store (Great Escape) here serves a lot of self-closers and generally seems pretty good in terms of selling the right supplies.
Just to make sure I'm on the correct path: Our equipment (pump, filter, heater) is all in the basement of the house. Lines for it go up and exit the house at ground level, then back under the pool deck. So, once we drain water below skimmers and returns, it should be pretty straightforward to get most of the water out of the skimmers and returns. I'm thinking open the pump drain and blow back from the pool.
But, to be sure on what I read here about the main drain? That line also goes from bottom of pool up to above grade. Do I blow it out from pump side until bubbles come out, then just close the Jandy valve up by the house and assume the air stays in the pipe for 6 months? There'll be like 6' of water pushing up all that time. On the other hand, the water level in the pipe will be about 18" below grade because I'll lower the pool water, so that's pretty close to the frost line. Without actually plugging the drain in the pool, I can't imagine antifreeze staying in the pipe. Am I missing something here?