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More tent questions

While we're on the topic, I've a question of my own.  I've never owned my 
own tent, I've just basically mooched off of friends :-) but I think it's 
high time I made the investment.  One thing I've been wondering about is 
free-standing vs. non.  Just how important is that feature in the grand 
scheme of things?  Is it just a matter of ease of use in putting up?  Or are 
there other considerations like perhaps a particular tent site not having 
very many good places to place your stakes?  (Is that possible or likely?) 
 In particular, I'm shopping with an eye towards buying a tent for my AT 
hike, scheduled to go off in a few years.  I was considering a Stephensons 
but 1) they're not freestanding and 2) I don't know where I could go and see 
one and I'm a little hesitant buying my first from a brochure (even if it is 
a *very* unusual brochure...).  And about their single-wall construction, 
does that pose any problems?  Condensation?

Thanks in advance for any help!