Hello from a newbie!
>.....I expect most of you are going to be experienced with a Tesla coil and =
>talk above my head -- I hope however to get some help so that I can =
>build my own Tesla coil.
Just hang around for a few months, and you'll get on to it. Ask questions, and
ye shall receive.
>I have pondered the idea of a pre-arranged kit =
>but am not sure if that is the best route...
I've seen a couple of the "kits". They all stink. The suppliers of the kits
seem to have liability on their mind when they put them together. I can't say I
blame them in this age of "it was someone else's fault". You'll be much
happier with the results if you build your own from scratch. It will take
longer, but you'll end up with the real McCoy.