I seek your advice, rabid devotees.
From what I can gather, most of you have some experience in the querying agents game. I have none, so I need your help. I'm good with the actual query (well, maybe not good, but I think it's at least found its way out of the Sucks Pit) and I have a firm grasp of the fundamentals. I know what things not to do. Here's what I'd like to know: How did y'all go about it?
The problem: I have agents that I want to represent me. I have no idea if my query/story/writing is going to appeal to those agents or, for that matter, any agent. Before I query those at the top of my list, I'd like to receive some feedback from those not at the top of my list. BUT, let's say one of the agents from the middle of my list requests the full, then what? Surely, I'd send the full, but now I'd be thinking, Well if agent X likes it enough to ask for a full, might not agent Y (the really cool agent who reps awesome writers and their awesome books)?
(I have no idea if any of this is making sense.)
So what I really want to know is what strategy did everyone use when you started querying agents? Please don't spare details you think are unimportant.