I'm putting together a 40BR right now, too. It's a nice-sized tank. I really like it because it adds a lot of depth and swimming area to the tank. It's not as easy to light because it is deeper, front-to-back, so more bulbs may be needed if using PC, T-5, or any other tube-style fluorescents. But I think it'll be a lot easier to get a nice aquascape in there than say a 55G tank that's long and narrow.
I have been running a 40 breeder sumpless of r 3 years. My 1st reef and it is a great tank.
Im in the proscess of putting a sump on it and just ordered a Reef Octopus NW-150 for said sump. People seem to like this line of skimmers, good price for the quality and size. Id suggest looking into them, and Im looking forward to setting mine up.
If you're looking for a skimmer, I might have a suggestion for you. I just purchased an Octopus NW-150 skimmer from www.marinesolutionsinc.com.
Now, it just arrived this afternoon, so I haven't had a chance to try it, yet. But it's a needle-wheel skimmer, and I've heard pretty much nothing but good things about it, especially for the price. $125, which is cheaper than most skimmers, period. And they shipped it fast; it got here in 2-3 days. And support e-mailed me a tracking number on request within a couple hours at most. All-in-all it's been a good experience so far.
Geez... I sound like an ad! lol! I'm just excited, that's all. Don't mind me!!
havent read this whole thread, but in response to the original question, i love this size tank It really is a great one to start with due to ease of lighting and building rock formations in (its deep from front to back, so you get to play w/the rock a bit more...in a standard 55 its so narrow that you basically just have to fit the rock in, and very rarely will you find someone who's got a really good rockscape going on).
here's a full tank shot of my 40 breeder thats been running for over a year...no skimmer, no other filters, just live rock and a lot of flow (although i'm short a seio 620 at the moment!)