Regarding Kristen's question about leveling speed.
It's a tough question, because player enjoyment (which for many of us, myself included) often comes from seeing our characters evolve both roleplaying wise and power-wise. It's always fun to get new powers/skills/spells, especially at low levels when we have so few.
On the other hand, it's important not to level too quickly, so as to a) give ourselves time to integrate our new abilities and get to use them, b) not change TOO quickly (our characters current "OMG We're nobodies stuck in this frontier fort and we have to fight bandits" state of mind is fun because of our low power status right now) and c) for the GM a more measured rate of advancement allows for more planing in the developpment of a campaign. When your players advance too quickly it sometimes screws up planned adventures story-threads, because it's no ,onger in the player's playing field.
All that said, my personnal rate of advancement is usually 5-6 games to levell. I can live with an occasionnal 7 or 8, but beyond that I start getting the "are we leveling yet?" feeling. As to how to resolve the system's challenge-only xp system, I'll have to give it some more thought.
With that, love to you all, hugs and merry christmas.