I have just finished reading the thread from origin thru MSG 12 sent in Apr or Aug I think.
The only thing I did not see was any mention of the personal computer program Family Tree Maker which is a relatively inexpensive product now available from ancestry.com. (I have been purchasing versions for at least 10 years -- just never had time to really use it.). For the last 6 months, I have been using it in combination with ancestry.com. Family Tree Maker has features like merging duplicates not available in online ancestry.com and there are features in ancestry.com not available in Family TreeMaker so I use both and keep them synced.
But for one of the major concerns I saw in the thread -- a safe backup on the PC (and I'm pretty sure a Mac version), it is there and very easy to use. However the only export I have seen so far from Family Tree Maker is to export to an online tree at ancestry.com.
For the record, I have been working with ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker for the last 6 months and have about 7800 people in the tree so far, plus even more images & stories, with about 13800 untraced hints.
I have just seen info re Legacy and purchased my first complete version. Ergo, I have the same problem -- figuring out how to sync info -- in reverse from the main topic of the thread.
It appear to me that I need to keep working in ancestry.com until I exhaust the info, exporting via GEDCOM into Legacy from time to time to explore the reporting facilities which may be better.