For me the 'vintage bug' bite this year was pretty substantial (although NOT 30k!!) - as I never purchased a vintage watch before 2014, and this year I have purchased between 25 and 30. I think as a relative 'newbie' (I'm using a year definition for 'newbie') relative to some of the long-time collectors that have commented already, I would say here are a few of the lessons I have personally learned:
(1) Having an IPhone app for 'the web that should not be named' IS DANGEROUS TO SAY THE LEAST! I have found myself searching and bidding on vintage watches at all times of the day and night because my phone was near - I have since slowed down....simply by restricting surfing on EB...
(2) There are many different 'sub-genres' and styles from WW1 and 'trench-style' watches to art deco, early chronographes, WW2, 50s, 60s, 70s, solid gold etc - one thing I have found is after purchasing and wearing vintage watches for a while, my tastes have evolved some - so as some have already suggested, take some time early to decide what you like - which means wearing them!
(3) Radium - having seen your other thread - the older watches are more a concern here -- but only if you open them and work on them without being careful. I actually purchased a Geiger counter and probably hold the informal forum record for more than 10,000 CPM on a 1930s Waltham - but I traded that watch back !
(4) Accuracy - even though I use Watch Tracker (a great IPhone app) to monitor accuracy - when you get bitten by this 'bug' you tend to wear a different watch every day so who cares about accuracy unless the watch is off more than 5 min day !
(5) Learn not to trust ANY seller -- I learned this quite quickly as my infamous 'Vintage Omega' experience taught me. I'm originally from the States, where people tend (I'm generalizing) to start with trust that then has to be eroded. Early on the experts here argued 'trust no one' unless you can verify hallmarks, dial, movement etc. - so my view switched to trusting no one - unless I knew the seller.
Anyway - some quick feedback from a 'newbie' - have fun and good luck ! Scott
PS - THE 'EXPERTS' ON THS FORUM ARE INCREDIBLY HELPFUL - SO YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE !!