Made slow progress in the last month on the new site, but in the past week I pinned down a few important aspects of the site. I'm far more comfortable with jQuery now and think I have most of the plugins we'll need (jQuery Tools, jeditable, and paginate). The best part of the new site is that it's pretty lightweight for an AJAX site. Here's a breakdown of the series page as it stands right now:
HTML - 40k
CSS - 12kb
jQuery - 60kb
jQuery plugins - 13kb
Images - unknown, but most likely around 150kb
That means the page itself is around 130kb. That's on the high side until you realize that 90kb of that is only loaded once. That means that after the initial load we only have to worry about the HTML and images.
Coming up next is figuring out how I want to do the artwork, since I'm not happy with the current method. I also need to finish up some handlers for saving records. After those are done I should be able to get through a couple more levels of code pretty quickly.
Here's something to keep you all entertained. Note that the // separators aren't staying and some other stuff on here is changing as well. http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/5151/sneakpeek.jpg