I went to DC for a few days this week and got my luggage lost for the first time. I guess it was about time that happened - I've flown a decent amount so far in my life and have never had to deal with lost luggage before.
Lesson #1: DO NOT be pissed off at the airline luggage counter people. It doesn't get you, or your luggage, anywhere, it doesn't make them feel like they owe you good service, and frankly, it makes you seem like an ass.
Lesson #2: Friends who give you their underwear (new, of course) and clothes to use until you get your stuff back are some of the truest friends around.
Lesson #3: Pack light. Do carry on only whenever possible.
Lesson #4: The luggage delivery person was really nice. I wonder if you can tip them? Maybe that's actually a lesson I haven't learned yet.