I have a friend who was a Master electrician (residential work mostly) who made the leap to large factory electrician a few years ago for benefits and a steady paycheck. I had always relied on him for help when wiring houses of whatever side project I had gotten myself into.
I started in maintenance at the age of 19 and got a crash course in control wiring, and grew up around it. I got MANY late night calls for assistance in figuring out why some machinery wasn't running.
If you really want to see an electrician's head spin, show him "ladder logic", it is all the same stuff as they are used too, just in a different way.
Finishing is a fickle mistress. It will turn on you for no reason even though you did EVERYTHING right. Long time guys would never say they master it, because even they get problems they can't explain.
And sometimes doing everything wrong works too. I have heard way too many stories for it to be coincidence... "my very first dip looked great and I was hooked! Now I can't get anything to work.
What do you mean by "depth" water base is a bit thicker, but I feel it covers better. JJ is correct, waterbased can corrode if you go direct to steel or iron, have never seen it with aluminum or stainless. OHW goes direct to metal and most plastics as it has a built in AP... and there is the trade off.
Clears, it's hard to beat solvent based. When you are messing with candies or pearls you want to stick with solvent based.
The end result is, you are gonna have to get good with both. Pick one and use it till you learn it, and then master the other. I feel water based is easier to start, and more consistent, but you are going to have to step it up to solvents eventually. Start with solvents and you have a steeper learning curve, but then waterbased comes easy after that.