I enjoyed your first post and hope you stick around to hear other people's stories. Click on people's names and go back in thier post history - you can see how people were when they first came here and the progress they made. I, too, was raised in the "truth" and it was hard for me to develop some greater context of my beliefs and rationale for them. I am/was also a little angry that I never got a chance to fully evaluate my faith and accept it or not before I was thrown in full throttle, babtized, pioneering, serving at Bethel, giving public talks, going door to door.... I wished i would have not been born in the truth and been able to refuse it without now having so much to lose in the form of family and friends.
Your account of how you felt when reading the Daniel book brings back memories. I remember people reading it soon after they got it at the DC and them being ecstatic with it. I was confused because it just seemed like it was pulling historic events out of thin air and threading it together with prophecy in the flimsiest manner. I had never even heard of these hisotric figures before and here they were supposed to represent the "kings of the north and the south." Once I did a little research on them I found there were other people and events equally or more important than those the Society talked about with the same figures. The single biggest thing I had to realize in my mental exit from the JWs was that they are just one more group on Earth who think they have a monopoly on Truth. Heck, they even call it "The Truth," as if there never were any contest to its validity.
Anyway, stick around, and have fun.