AMEN for a good report, useful to all!
Can I add that the use of a tinning flux helps tremendously as well as using MAPP gas instead of Propane. Propane is fine if you are absolutely, 100% sure the pipes are clean and dry, such as in new construction. A tinning flux such as Oatey's #95 has the added benefit of micro-pulverized bits of solder incorporated in it so that the soldering process begins as the joint heats before you even apply the solder from the roll.
As for plastic, or PVC.... I like it too! They both have their places in plumbing life.