All of you are making me extremely hungry, I’ve been reading a lot about Sichuan food and I just cant wait to get there! I’m writing some of these place names down so I can check them out when I arrive.
I used KTdict (free version) during my first year in Tianjin and it was extremely helpful. For flashcards I used a program called StudyArcade which can be downloaded through Cydia or the app store but it had some organizational issues, I mainly used it because I could sync my Anki deck with it. I stopped all that because I would spend more time adding cards and trying to get them to work on the phone than I did actually studying.
I’ll check out the Panda and Chinese Flashcards, I really like Nciku because they have a very large word database so if the iPhone version is lacking in that department its a deal breaker.
I think I learn best by sticking with a few new words a week, say 3 or 4 that way I have a chance to use them enough so I don’t forget them later.