Here are my (jaded) answers to a few of Angie Fox's bread questions.
With regards to bread cookbooks, my favorites are the Tassajara
Bread Book, which literally gets into the Zen of baking. Also,
Laurel's Kitchen and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (the 2nd
Moosewood cookbook -- the purple one) both have excellent sections
on baking. None of these, however, deals with machines.
As far as getting pizza onto the pizza stone, I sprinkle cornmeal
onto the pizza peel (the big wooden paddle) and craft the pizza
directly on the peel. This makes transferring to the baking stone
quite simple. This also works great for baking free-form loaves of
bread. As for how long to preheat a stone, the directions that came
with mine suggests preheating for an hour. I don't always wait that
long, but darn near close to it.
Finally, on the subject of loaf-slashing. I say slash. Use a very
sharp knife or razor. I find that slashing allows some of the steam
to escape, keeping the loaf from getting deformed. Don't worry.
Bread's tough. You won't kill it.