Well not as exciting an update b/c I spent a lot of time rigging, test animate, throw away everything start over. I've narrowed down what I'm going to use, and most likely its HumanIK with maya. Also looking at rigging tools like The Rigging Toolbox. I want simplicity, high quality, fast reproducible results. I also don't know what HumanIK as middleware is, or if that's an option... anyway... so rigging research.