I think I completed the rooting process successfully. Thanks a lot @ShaDisNX255 for your help!
Just to double check, how exactly do I verify that my phone is rooted? I downloaded a couple of apps from the google play store that are intended to check if I'm rooted and both say that I'm not.
And once I confirm that I'm indeed rooted, what is the best place to learn about and install special features, apps, alternative play stores, etc... that I can take advantage with my rooted phone?
Settings > About Phone > Status Information > Phone Status reads "Custom"... is that a confirmation it is rooted?