I don't know where you live but Sally's has a product for curly hair called NoodleHead. It is only at Sally's. I use it everyday along with a product called Cholesterol. I have thick, curly, medium lenght gray hair and it is fabulous.
I brush my hair once a day, right after I shampoo and condition. Check out http://naturallycurly2.com/home/index.php
Oh my! I work at Sally's, I have curly hair and I also use the NoodleHead product on my hair. It works fabulous! (and I have a lady who buys it in bulk!!)
First up for hair cuts, ask for a bob, that's what I have. It's a great shape for curly hair, and looks very cute too! You can go with bangs or without. It's all awesome. I've seen many a curly haired chick in my town with a bob haircut, and it looks really great.
As for styling, the trick is to brush your hair in the shower when you have conditioner in your hair. If you brush your hair after you get out of the shower, it'll tend to frizz up and you'll brush out those lovely curls. What I do is either shampoo and condition my hair with a- Loreal Nature's Thearpy Unfrizz shampoo and conditioner or Generic Matrix Sleek Look shampoo and conditioner (both you can buy at Sally's). Noodle head does have a shampoo and conditioner of it's own, but I don't really like it much. If your hair is really dry, use a colesterol or deep conditioner, but using this every day can actually be BAD for your hair. Next- after you've brushed out your hair in the shower, wash out the conditioner, and then towel dry your hair. Apply Noodlehead liberly and scrunch it and go! I usually take a towel and help scrunch it up. You really don't need to apply anything else to your hair. I'll let my hair go like this for two days, then wash it again. To fix it the next day, I just use a spray bottle and make it a little damp, and scrunch again. (noodlehead also has a spray curl revitializer you can use after the water). If my hair is a little frizzy, I might apply some polisher, but usually that's not needed.
My hair is actually curlier than that in the icon picture. I think that was after letting my hair go for three days of non washing. (washing curly hair every day=bad)
I hope that helped some. I really didn't read every post.. so I don't know what all was said. That's just knowlege from my experience.
But yes, Try the Noodlehead if you haven't already.
edit-- I read some posts. It's good to brush your hair to get out all the dead hair, so it doesn't come off on your hands and go down your drain when you're washing. I used to not brush unless I was using a blow dryer to straighten my hair, but now I do it because my hair is really thick and if I don't, I get a ton of hairs that get all over the place when washing. If you do it in the shower you can mess your hair back up when you rinse it.