Thanks for all the replies. Iím glad Iíve provided you with a bit of entertainment in return for some advice.
About the grade disparity which you are right to question. Iíve climbed for about 6 years, starting before university. Due to time constrains and other crap excuses, I donít have much of real-rock mileage for this time, and never really got/made the chance to get out with others significantly better than myself to second stuff and get the head sorted, and consequently, havenít pushed myself anywhere near my physical limit on trad routes. My local rock is Gritstone - short and typically rather bold, so this doesnít give me a perspective of what long mountain routes are like in the US hence the conservative grade. I can work 5.11c/d indoors, but there are no good outside sport venues near me to justify saying I can climb 5.11 as far as Iím concerned.
That said I have climbed a fair bit outside, but just not hard stuff, and all not too hard so as not to piss off my second too much. I am pretty good at rope work having done a course that covers problem solving around multipitch trad. Indoors, over the past year Iíve boulder a lot more than routes, and so would feel more comfortable pushing myself on real boulders, hence the high grade (it was partly to angle me in the direction of groups of harder boulders rather than easy, but I donít think thatís a problem for you guys in Southern California, what with the incredible abundance).
This all said, Iím probably keener to do routes out there and Iíll probably be happy to second and lead some harder stuff once a bit more familiar. Iíve got enough camping gear so camping is a possibility too if worthwhile, otherwise itís hotels and renting a car?
Ward, Tahquitz sounds pretty good to me. Anywhere is going to be mind blowing compared with what Iím used to! Yosemite would be incredible, and you are right, I donít know when Iíd be backÖ
Everything looks amazing. Climbing in the US never initially crossed my mind before this opportunity. Never felt feasible, but with a job and funds it can be a reality. It's not too expensive to get out (for what you get) and it'll be so worth while. Future trips will be planned...!