Colorful (autumn?) forests (Not dye trees). I like the reds and oranges and yellows, very pretty place to live!
/edit -- oh, and I -love- the Canyon biome! You can dig into the side of a canyon and have windows looking out over the rugged landscape.
Why wouldn't you get started on MFR? Lots to do there, and it's not that expensive. I didn't see anything "hard" about the recipes on Monster.
(/edit -- ok, getting pink slimes is hard, and some of the emerald requirements are hard, but otherwise, no)
To save on energy and the work that my AE system has to do, I favor pre-processing the ores directly from the quarry (tesseract). You can use BC pipes or Itemducts for this, either works fine.
T -- Tesseract
= -- pipes or...
I've noticed certain areas are almost devoid of redstone as well. I haven't seen a pattern to it really, I sometimes just hit large pattern-mined areas where I found zero redstone.
/edit -- one o those area was a highland transitional area between two BoP biomes; not sure if that means anything.
I'm getting at the fact that sunlight "is strong enough", skylights look swell, and putting torches all over the place not only looks like sht, it also takes up precious growing space if you put any on the ground in the farm.
Is the "pig iron" as a material on this page an error or out of date? I assumed putting pig iron in a smeltery would give you this listed Pig Iron material.