So my advice is: Don't read anymore and just hit the road.
There is definitely something to that. On the other hand some reading will give you an idea what others are doing. That reading might be reading here , on bike forums, and reading some CrazyGuyOnABike.com journals. Bear in mind that because others think something is the way to go doesn't mean it is the right answer for you. This is especially true if you have some experience with packing for some other self supported form of travel like backpacking.
My advice is to pack light, taking only what you need
, but don't get too wrapped up in the bike and gear choices. Reading too much will be likely to make you think you need a lot of stuff that is definitely not necessary and get you too fixated on specific brands and models of stuff that may not even suit you and your touring style. Read packing lists more with seeing what folks can do without in mind than with what added items they carry that you can do without. After you figure out what to carry, pick a bike and baggage system that suits your packing style, but don't get too wrapped up in that. Packing the right stuff (and leaving stuff you don't need home) is a lot more important that building up the ultimate touring bike.
For learning what works for you as far as the actual touring... The best way to learn that is to get out and tour. Using an AC map for a well developed route like the TA, NT, or ST, especially in the beginning is a pretty good kick start.