I just wanted to add(not that people are probably even reading this many pages in) but if you purchase the wood at Lowes you can ask them to cut it to your lengths(I have yet to find a lowes that charges for this) and then it is a very quick simple set up and screw(no saw required, hehe).
I'm a girl so I would cheat. XD Take all the manly-ness out of it with only having to use a cord drill, I'm saw impaired but I promise they could cut it quicker at Lowes anyways.
Thanks for posting this and thanks for everyone answering all the questions. This is something I've been having a hard time wrapping my head around but every question I've had was answered. So many knowledgeable people on this forum!