I really wanted to like Bootstrap 3 however I now think it's oxidizing my hair and I get the feeling I'll be bald by this time next year if I continue with it.
...and then the sky fell down (or was it the network admin guy?). Ninety minutes of no connectivity, no productivity and a resolve that I must be able to continue my work and I've reached the point where hair-loss might just be the first step towards a padded cell. It seems I cannot replicate the same pretty results on a local server that I get when using the maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com cloudy links, even when using the same libraries.
I am grateful to those who have gone before me. The best guide I found was at Revillweb. Unfortunately the results I got were not equal to those shown. I suppose it could be me trying to power everything locally using the Analog-X simple server but my results using nginx on Linux Mint have also failed (less surprising since I never used it before today). It seems that every browser I test insists on rendering the example files slightly (or completely) differently. Nothing new there then, except now we have all these tablet screens to cater for as well.
My options now seem to be either revert to using the maxcdn links (and hope they never ever go offline or change... ever!!!!), see what happens in another developer environment (like xammp maybe) or accept that network downtime is a fact of life and that most of the users were probably more upset about being unable to get to Facebook than our applications not working. It's a real shame as the initial results with bootstrap looked great but when the project is expected to go live in 12-18 months time I really am concerned about how those links could change. I suspect the best way to avoid sudden panic will be to come up with our own similar looking style sheet. I will miss the bootstrap grid system, but not the strange results I'm currently getting.