Those are all great questions. I will definitely stick with just buying the curds, but I do think it's worth a try to make the mozzarella from scratch. It's a great learning experience. There is something about taking milk and making that into fresh, beautiful mozzarella that is exhilerating. I have always had better results with raw milk, but like you said, it is hard to find. It's a 15 mile drive for me just to get there and the raw milk costs $10 a gallon. That seems a little ridiculous to me, but people come. I've seen people get good results with pasteurized milk on youtube. I think it really depends on the freshness of the milk. The fresher, the better. I got a little over a pound of mozzarella from the gallon of milk. You can buy the curd and make it, and at least in my case, it's much cheaper. But now I can say that I've done it from scratch. If you wanted to try it, I would just tell you to find the freshest milk possible.