I have a Performer and use a weed burner to light my charcoal...much faster and easier, but still occasionally use the gas assist or a chimney. I don't use the charcoal tubs though, just pile it up on one side. I get the coals going good, when they start to ash I put the lid on and let the kettle warm up. I can easily get it to 450° to 500° with a nice little pile of 20-30 briquettes with about 20% lump charcoal mixed in. Lump will help you reach higher temps than straight briquettes.
After cooking, I will give my grate the once over with a Weber brush, then the next time I fire it up, when it gets to 200-300° I will brush it again then wipe it down with Grape seed oil.
One other thing to point out, when done cooking, shut everything down and choke out the fire. Then when you go out to grill again, remove your cooking grate and use your grill brush to stir up the leftover charcoal, dropping the ash below to clean out leaving remaining chunks...add some new charcoal to it and light it up again. This will save you a lot of $$ on charcoal.
Hope this helps and welcome to the addiction!
Shawn aka: BUBBA's QUE CREW Competition Team
Blue Weber Performer w/SS top & gas assist
Weber One Touch Gold & a Weber 22 1/2" Silver
2 UDS's Born 9-19-08 & 3-6-09
Weber Smokey Joe Platinum
Super Fast RED THERMAPEN
"If you got them by the MOINK balls, their hearts and minds will follow" -John Wayne