Amen. I fondly remember thinking anything west of the Mississippi River was DX from New England on 40 meters! My head nearly exploded when I worked California on 40. Fortunately, the headphones prevented that from happening... There's a lot to be said for the old "learners permit" system and its benefits, which parallel those of trade apprenticeship systems. Crawl, stumble, walk, run - in that order. Skip a step at your own peril. Considering all the propagation tools, computerization, and black box plug and play stuff that's available today, we shouldn't have been able to work any DX way back when.