Bit of a progress report:
I'm done with the cake - its doing its final cooling and chilling, and I'll do the sauce and topping tomorrow prior to serving.
The instructions state:
Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour hot tap water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake.
Nuh-uh, Mr. Flay! Not for me at least. When I took the cake out, there was about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of water at the bottom of the foil :( I'm guessing from evaporation and condensation. And it did seep into the cake, so hopefully its not too bad. The edges of the crust are soggy, but the bottom looks OK for the most part (my springform pan has a glass bottom so I can see).
I've made a lot of simple cheesecakes and I've never bothered to do the water-bath thing. It was my (mis)understanding that this prevented cracking. I usually have small cracks, but this time I ended up with a rather large fissure! Its right down the middle and at the center its about half way down the depth of the cake. I don't really care, but it makes me question what I did wrong.