You're all definitely right. The only reason to do this is I want people here to have access to healthy pet rats instead of trying them and giving up because it's so difficult and expensive to keep breeder mill rats alive. Plus they're not always good pets while they are alive because of poor breeding and socialization. As a former breeder of reptiles, I know you're definitely correct, if you're doing everything you should for your animals there is no such thing as a profit margin from breeding. Frankly anyone who tells me they make money doing it makes me very suspicious about the care of their animals.
You're also right about waiting until Genie's are all placed. I'll actually probably wait a little longer than that actually. First of all I want to see all the stages of the process so that I'm not kidding myself about any of it, second I never want more than one litter at a time. I've decided that I should at least have one a couple weeks old and mostly placed before breeding for another (I really don't need a house full of squealing unplaced litters of rats.) Also, the moment there's no demand I'll stop breeding, so why have more than one litter?
Both of the breeders I'm dealing with are very reputable and very kind. They're aware I'm planning on breeding on a very small scale and they're not asking any fee for breeding rights, just the opportunity to impart all the knowledge they can about their lines and their methods. They've been very helpful. Luckily, even if I do decide to obtain rats from them I will be getting babies, so I will still have plenty of time to learn lots more.
You're also right about the complex genetics. That's why I'm going to breed for temperament and health first and then traits like dumbo ears, hairless, and rex coat. These are all simple recessive or simple dominant traits, unlike the very complicated genetics that go into some colors and patterns. It gets ridiculous! That's why I've decided to just breed dumbos, dumbo hairless, and dumbo rex if I breed anything at all and to leave the blazes out of it. Blazes are gorgeous no doubt, but those high white markings can really get dangerous if you don't have the knowledge and experience to match them up safely, and right now I just don't. Maybe someday, but it would be irresponsible for me to do it and risk megacolon right now.
Right now, for me it's just an experiment in seeing if I can handle it. I've gathered a lot of info. I have access to really great rats. The only question is can I breed rats and care for and place the babies and still have time to socialize them all as pets, play with them, and really enjoy them the way I enjoy the ratties I have now. That's something I'm not willing to give up. I guess we'll just have to see what happens with our current litter. That should tell me a lot about how possible it is for me to handle this and everything else in my life.