Too bad about the maiden woes, but you definitely learned the right lessons. I just started flying a few months ago and I had to learn those same lessons too... the hard way, of course.
I read that you flew again after the repairs, with more success... way to go! Hopefully you can fix that nasty turning problem without too much trouble.
Once you master this plane, what are your plans? I don't know if you'd enjoy scratch-building, but I've found that it's at least as much fun as the actual flying. More frustrating sometimes, but also more rewarding when something you designed and built yourself actually flies well.