The batteries store incredibly well. I buy the protected versions of the ultra fire series from battery junction. Very pleased so far. The run times are so long that I simply recharge every couple months even if they don't need it. I have many lights so some may go that long.
It's not a bad idea to obviously keep some regulars around but I think if you get a couple of the rechargeable batteries since they are cheap you'll be a believer. Battery junction is in ct too and really nice folks, plus they have great deals on regular batteries if you want to stock up.
We're not out here to rough it. We're here to smooth it . Things are rough enough in town.