I must be missing something. With any web dev I've done in the past, I've always developed locally or on a dev box. Any changes I would make would first be made locally then uploaded. I'll be darned if I've yet to figure out a good development/testing structure for ongoing maintenance/updating for WordPress!
For the last WP site I did: I developed locally, but it was such a pain in the butt to keep that kind of local/dev/testing/upload structure that I just began working on the production end. Now that I've got to update/reDesign this site, boy am I in a pickle since that prod DB got written to all the while. So now I'm faced with like ... a thousand steps to get my local/dev machine to match up with prod to make changes.
Can someone point me out a thorough tutorial on developing locally for eventual upload?!?