I've sent out the email with the file attached.
As to whether I must use the data "like tags", ultimately I'm not sure if I will implement things in that manner. As I said I'm kind of messing around with calibre to find out what I can do and how I can do it - optimally for my needs.
Prior efforts met with varying degrees of customization and satisfaction. Some of the issues being shifts in data handling methodology (fields vs tags), file structure (yeah, that old saw!). Another being the amount of manual effort required to get good info into the database. I've started from scratch a couple of times because I just wasn't happy with either the database or my results.
The primary issues at present are nested series and tags to normalize data as much as possible. Well, that and the data entry required.