You can learn a lot of protools stuff on youtube - for free. PT definitely can be pricey if you constantly upgrade to the newest version and buy a ton of plug-ins, but once you get familiar with it, it's a great recording program, and pretty easy to use. There's just a bit of a learning curve. I still have 7.4 and it does everything I need.
I agree on recording vocals mono. Recording in stereo is just using up more space on your hard drive. Stacking mono vocals allow you to create different effects, like to get a chorus effect, etc. You can also keep one of the vocal tracks dry (no effects) and play with effects on the overdubs. Doing this allows you to try different effects and still have the clear, understandable vocal out front.