Kind of an admixture of pen, pencil, live trace...but I really do have to learn to draw a slightly different way, if I'm going to employ some of the methods of vectoring...and you're right...it is a great opportunity.
I like that. I'll have to look around to see if I can find any free or relatively inexpensive vector-friendly software for you. Have you considered joining some kind of community specifically for vector art? (or maybe you've already joined one or find dA enough)
Haven't joined a vector community...yet...and I have to say Santa must have thought I was very good this year; my keyboard wasn't the only gift I got. I'm endeavoring to learn a very lovely vector software right now.