Thanks everyone for all the advice!
+ I am keeping space limits in the cockpit in mind, but lucky for me I am only 5'4" (I don't get to say that very often), so even with helmet and a seat-cushion style chute, I might still have plenty of canopy clearance.
+ Improved seatbelts is on the list of "wants." The 4-pt in the plane now seems to work pretty good. I'm not going straight to the snap-rolls, but will be starting with some very basic stuff first (all smooth, easy and positive G) and slowly building up. (Just as a good-boy should, right?)
+ I've seen the bonehead helmets on line, and the PilotX with coms looks nice. Expensive, but nice, and maybe a good one-time buy. Really wish I could try one on before purchase though. I will drop Chris a line and see how it goes. Too bad for me they are in CA and not FL!
+ I've seen the chutes on line as well, but it was looking like they were all selling the same thing. The explanation that the businesses selling chutes are really just making different packs makes sense. The contacts for talking to some of the people in that world is much appreciated!
In summary, great feedback! Thank you all!
PS. Willy Eye Ball of AL, you are undoubtedly in my neck of the woods. Hope to see you out there at SERFI or some other local fly-in/pancake breakfast or whatever! And I don't believe you, slider canopy has to be better! (looks cooler anyway) ;-)