Oh geez, so much good input! Where to begin?!
@Greg: I want to see Yosemite at its most beautiful. Waterfalls! Like I said, this is likely going to be my only trip into the Valley, and HD so I want to see it at it's best. I'll deal with the bugs, but fewer bugs would be a bonus.
@Erik: What cables at what falls?! Why? Be more specific! I don't want to put me or my wife into any dangerous situations...
@Multiple TIME: Well it looks like June would be ideal, but if it's a heavy snow year, than I'll want to look at July. Maybe the weekend after the 4th? I like to go week before/after holiday, usually less people.
@Multiple ROUTE: Well, we are slow hikers ~1.5mph is our fastest average for a day of hiking. So, a dayhike may be a bit much for us. It sounds like day 1 mist trail to LYV, then day 2 to HD then back to car via JMT is our best bet. I like this as I don't like to cover the same ground twice if I don't have to. And, considering we'll get a late start on day 1(see below).
@Multiple TIMING: No we can't go during the week, that would require using precious vacation time. We will probably be driving up Friday night(late), camping, then getting our permit first thing Saturday morning. Which means a late start on Saturday. Or can I print out my permit if I reserve it ahead of time?
@Greg: I'm sure there are a lot of better areas. If you'd like to share, I wouldn't mind hearing your favorite suggestions for 2 to 3 day trips in Yosemite. However, I feel that I NEED to go to the Valley and Half Dome at least once in my life. We have done a Young lakes overnight, and all future trips will likely be other areas of the park, but we gotta do HD at least once...
I don't plan on buying from scalpers, I'm hoping to plan a date then buy my passes as soon as they go on sale. Also, I believe, last time I checked, that certain trailhead back country passes included a HD pass. If you do a day hike, that's when you have to buy a HD pass.
Maybe it'd just be easier to hook up with another person/couple that has done it before and is planning to go around the same time as us... Wish my hiking buddy hadn't moved to Oregon, Sigh. We need new hiking friends, lol.