OK, got my rod. I went to Great Feathers (north of Baltimore) and bought a Grey rod and reel. It's a 9' 5wt, seems really nice, a lot nicer than the Bass Pro brand I think (and a bit pricier).
I also went to Tie Fest with my 11 year old daughter. She has tied about 100 pink flies since then! Good times
I'm also heading up to the Manistee River in MI in late June and going to try out my rod on some trout. I've never been river fishing so this ought to be interesting!
Thanks for all of the info!