Live rock can also provide places for copeopods to live (only thing certain fish eat-mandarin dragonets) and good algae to grow which can be grazed on by herbivores (tangs).
Saltwater aquariums for dummies is about $20 @ Barnes & Noble. Has great info on the different systems and is really easy to read & understand. Info about different equipment & set ups too. I found it to be well worth the $.
I personally only know people with full reef set ups or FOWLR
systems. But I can only assume FO
systems require the same amounts of testing (maybe more frequently because not as much beneficial bacteria) water changes, etc. The upfront expense is less because you have fake rock. But you can get dead rock pretty reasonably and cure it yourself and add beneficial bacteria to give it a boost.
You plan on using a sump or canister filter?