I'm sorry I didn't check back on this thread until now.
I would actually say there are better micro players online then there are good players at the buy-ins your talking about. Once you get to maybe the $60-$80 level it'll be equal to the micros. When I'm comparing skill levels, I'm considering how many players have a basic knowledge of fundamentals like hand selection, position, pot odds
, etc. You still have crazier play at micros because the money is still way less than what you invest live, but the players don't necessarily know any more.
I can't really give you advice on bankroll, because I don't have much money to put into live poker. Online is all built through freerolls
. I play live about every 2 months and I've never played anything much over $100. The cheaper tournaments are cheap, fast fun for me. It's got higher levels of variance, but I usually play for at least an hour and a half, and I would easily lose at least that much doing anything else in the casino. But some general rules of thumb is that anything tournament with less than 30 min levels will play like a turbo. I played a tournament last week with 10 min level and that was the equivalent of a hyper-turbo.
As far as learning etiquette before you go, I'm not sure how you would do that. I'm more the type that learns as I go along. I didn't even know how to play texas
hold-em 10 minutes before my first tournament (live). My aunt paid my buy-in and explained the the basics, and off I went! If you make a few rookie mistakes, you won't be the first, and think of it as an advantage. People will assume you don't know how to play, when really you just don't have live experience. If you make rookie mistakes, stick to a TAG style for awhile because hopefully you'll get paid off for your value bets.