So, if we were to do something similar:
1) Do you find the includes from recordset useful as well, or do you just use the list?
Yes. I have a login system with session variables to give users access to different areas of the administrative backend. These session variables are used as a filter for my recordset to select only user specific items.
I've done both. There's pros and cons to each of the possibilities. Maybe other ADDT users can add their ideas to this question, too.