After visiting Diane's rescue in April, I've gotta say: if anyone wants rats, please get them from a rescue FIRST! Don't get them from a pet store.
I was involved in the rescue from Robert's house, and he wasn't just "mentally handicapped". There were all KINDS of things going on w/ that guy that I cannot discuss here. It was really sad.
Anyway, please, if anyone is thinking about getting more rats as pets, consider getting them from a rescue FIRST! Diane is just one rescue person, and she's got over 100 homeless rats in her care. It's overwhelming. There are rescues all over the place, and rat trains, too.
Rat trains are very valuable. Say you live in FL, but want some rats that are in AZ. No problem. There is a Rat Transport list over at Yahoogroups, and people band together and help get the rats from A to B. I've participated in more than one, and they work quite well.
Some of the rats I was fostering from Robert's house now live in Amarillo, TX, some are in WA, some are in NM, and one is in San Diego, CA. They got there from my house in CA through the Rat Train.