Glad you enjoy my wall, I was wondering if anyone was reading it, haha.
I applied for the first time in 2006, and yes, an LSAT re-take was part of the process. I'm going to post more details about myself and the cycle overall when I decide where I'm going. I am of the opinion (some would disagree) that applying early is a HUGE advantage. If not for simply getting in, then definitely for getting scholarships, especially in a year like this. I would recommend doing everything possible to get all your apps out in October. It makes the process longer (still waiting on Mich after like 6.5 months), but it's worth it.
Hope this helps, and check back in a few weeks when I have an "A" next to one of these schools, as I'll be putting up more details then.