I've been reading, but I'm off to do more!
I was originally under the impression that I would have to use ypmatch to grab data from NIS. But, it looks like NIS takes care of replicating the information across multiple machines, and that it can be then accessed locally at each system using 'getent'. At least that is my understanding right now. You're statement about the replication of system configuration files pretty much says it all. I am going to do some more reading though. Thanks again for the push in the right direction!