Well, I finally made the jump to a fixed gear! Here is the story...
I have had a Faggin Tre Tubi from 1985 for many years. The bike has been through a number of moves and had to be turned into Frankenbike a couple years back when I had a chain disaster that sheared off the spokes on the back wheel. I was contemplating turning it into a fixie back then but the cost was too much. The new derailluer and cluster were very finaicky and the bike would drop out of gear at the drop of a hat, especially when pushing hard up a hill... BAD. I finally sickened of it.
The thing that turned it was when I got a Trek 8000 from a neighbor and turned it and a few spare parts from the Faggin into $90 at Recycled Cycles. I also sold a couple bikes from the PBs garage for $100 on craigslist. This basically meant that I could "fixify" the Faggin for about $20 out of pocket. Well worth it!
So... the Faggin has a "flipflop" hub on the back now with a fixed 40/16 and lockring on one side and a freewheel 40/17 on the other side. It is a bolt on setup, and I need to carry a wrench to actually change it out.
I pounded up Mercerwood the other day with the 40/16 fixed. I was huffing pretty hard at the top, but I made it!! So I know it can be done. The fixie only attempted to buck me off once when I forgot I was riding fixed. All in all a pleasant experience, but I need to ride more to get used to it.