Hi all, I am new to the forum (love it !!!), and new to the world of Hermes, and could really use a little help. I have always admired their beautiful bags , but never thought it would be possible to own one. But, now I have come into some money, and would like to set a portion aside for this special purchase . I have been obsessively reading the threads for info, but I'm still lost. First, it seems substantially less expensive to purchase a bag at a boutique than what I thought, based on ebay and tv shows (it seems as if the Birkins start around $6000-$7000, please correct me if I'm wrong?) Also, I've ready several posts where people have received their bags in far less time than what I had been led to believe, or actually walked into a store and bought one off the rack (I thought it was nearly impossible to get a bag, or even to get on a list). Is this true? Perhaps it depends on the city you are in? I'm American, but currently living in Italy -- anyone have experience in this country? Last, I am trying to decide on what type of bag/color/leather to order if I ever get the chance!!! Many members seem to have a wealth of knowledge on exact colors and types of leathers available -- are the different options published somewhere? I know it is not available on the Hermes website. Is there some kind of book or catalog I should be aware of (I would like to be a little more knowledgeable before going into my local boutique, especially since I look very young and expect that I won't be taken very seriously by the SAs ). I think I've decided on the Hermes orange, but don't know the leathers, and would love to know the subtle differences between the HAC and the Birkin, as those are my top choices. Sorry for so many questions! So much to learn, but I'm anxious to get on that list so I can start waiting!!!! Any bit of help is really appreciated!!! thanks!!!