I may actually be understanding the SDE world a bit more following today's class. It's a bit difficult to remember all the steps required to create instances, users, permissions, etc. I did list a few additional steps on the Google Document, so that should help everyone. My big problem today was forgetting to version each feature class so others could view the data.
Pete also helped me a bit after class with the GNIS data. Although I had tried to edit the projection at the office, it didn't seem to work. The data didn't move at all, it wasn't a matter of having chosen the incorrect projection. But Pete was able to make it work, as he usually is so all is well. One more item to cross off my list at work.