Arcane, hidden layers of distribution refers to all the people that purchase your product before the end customer does. So, for most products it will be 1) your distributor and 2) the retailer.
Plan appropriate margins for these layers. I`m not sure what is reasonable. My best guess is that distributors mark up 25%, retailers 100%. SuN community might have experience in this area, this is only what I`ve read.
it is also possible to file more than one provisional application if the changes from the first provisional application are significant.
A very insightful post txbassguy, have you read any particularly good books on this topic that you can recommend? I am currently filling papers to incorporate as an S-Corp so that I may deduct the R&D (prototype, patent, etc..) costs if and when profits are made.
It`s a long road out of serfdom and into ones own, don`t give up!