Well, it's good to know that transferring a little vs a lot isn't a huge issue. That I did not know. I'm less concerned with my ability to pull some or all of a single object's properties than i am with the possibility of having to pull a small set of properties for say 400 objects, but then wanting a larger set of properties for 10 of them. While each object may be fairly lightweight (say a few hundred to a thousand Kbytes), i'm worried what happens when i've got to deal with objects en masse.
I am aware of Storable and FreezeThaw, but at least for the time being a relational database is best for me because it allows for robust searching out of the box, and is a platform for modeling relationships between objects.
That said though, i fully appreciate the warning about digging that hole