Well done Adam! Resisting the micromanaging is hard.. its just so darn fun to run the tests and channel your inner mad-scientist..Gone Fishing, You got further along in a shorter time than most folks. You must be wired to assimilate detail.
I have only now got to the point that I can look at my pool and gage it's health. Also I can now resist micromanaging my pool. What I mean by that is not chasing the numbers too much and while watching the water level, I won't add water when I know rain is forecast [unless it is so low that there is danger of starving the skimmer].
"whatever floats your boat" is a good way to look at many of these issues. As @mguzzy points out there are some downsides to dry acid, but most of them are for SWCG users or owners of plaster pools. As the sulfates build up they can damage concrete & plaster and even cause corrosion on metal parts. We really are not against their use. We are against uncontrolled use.I'm amending one point in my missive above, though I followed TFP guidelines for adding muriatic acid (MA) Recommended Pool Chemicals - Trouble Free Pool, I could still see a "cloud" skim across the top of the pool water even with dipping the MA bottle into the pool before pouring. As someone with a healthy respect for chemical additives and reactions when it comes to using them around environments that include people/pets (who I made sure were out of the pool area anyway), I bought some dry acid which for me now has been less stressful to work with and seems to do the trick for lowering pH (and not having to store a bottle of MA sealed in a plastic bag). I'm assuming the liquids mix more quickly with the water than the dry materials, so pre-dissolving the dry acid in a bucket of water (as suggested in Pool School) maybe helps out with quicker distribution in the water? I wait a couple of hours after adding a chemical(s) before swimming regardless. I guess it's "whatever floats your boat" when choosing one acid-adding method (liquid/dry) over the other - though I've read that MA reaches its potential in the pool in 3 to 4 hours, whereas sodium bisulfate (dry acid) takes at least 24 hours to reach its potential.