To add to or echo some of the solid advice you've already gotten:

1. Don't worry about the pastes. While I do have some CrOx spray on a makeshift strop, I have really only used it to smooth out a freshly honed blade, since they can sometimes be a bit harsh for a shave or three. Some of the pro's do this anyway after honing your blade, followed by regular stropping, so that your blade comes back in tip-top working order and ready for action.

2. If you're going the stone route and want to save some cash, look for a good barber's hone or a Naniwa 12k stone. The barber's hone, while less expensive, is more of a specific use item, but that is not a hard and fast statement (I don't have a 12k, so I use my barber's hone to finish my blades). The Naniwa 12k costs more, but will integrate well if and when you decide to take on the full aspect of honing.

3. As Siguy mentioned above, the Norton 4/8 combo stone isn't the best choice for refreshing blades, as you'll never get back to the same amount of smoothness or sharpness as when your razor was professionally honed. With that said, once you start honing, from bevel set to finishing, if you're doing it right, you should be able to get a good and smooth shave from the Norton 8k. It won't be as smooth as using a 12k+ stone, but good nonetheless. If you have the cash to pick up the Norton 4/8 along with the Naniwa 12k, by all means do so, but resist the urge to start honing (beyond just a touch-up) for a while. Your face (and razors) will thank you.

4. Jimbo and Onimaru55 have given you great advice on your strop... take it... you'll be glad you did!

5. If you want to try touching up a razor, do so! It's pretty straightforward, and you'll most likely have no problem. But, resolve yourself to know when to throw in the towel if you can't get it, and send the razor out to a pro. In fact, they may be able to tell you why you failed so you can know what to avoid when you try again.

6. The only thing I see that's not on your list is possibly a local mentor. If you have someone near you, try to hook up and learn all you can. We have some great guys on here, and they're more than happy to share their knowledge and expertise!

7. It sounds like you're pretty well mentally prepared for the learning curve, as evidenced by the amount of research you've done. With that said, embrace any challenges that come your way, and above all, have fun!