I'm reading up on becoming vegetarian myself, so I thought I'd go ahead and sign up to answer some of your questions. :)
Let me debunk some myths straight away.. vegans/vegetarians have NO problem getting enough iron or protein. (I'll try and elaborate a bit later)
And also, I agree with you about not being able to give up cheese, but after much research, I'd have to say that consuming dairy is just as "inhumane" (if not more) as consuming meats. Did you know that cheese is a by-product of the veal industry? The coagulant used to curdle milk into cheese is extracted from the fourth stomach of (dead) baby calves. Does cheese sound so appetizing now? :)
Try some cheese alternatives!
Another thing about dairy you should probably know, is that the high levels of something called "casein" in milk, and especially in cheese, have been linked to cancer rates. There is approx. 10x more casein in cheese than in milk, FYI. Anyway, there's not much "proof" but cancer rates in non-dairy cultures ARE lower.
This is a good time to bring up the effects calcium has on iron absorption. Calcium, along with several other things (teas, caffeine), inhibits the absorption of iron into your system when taken at the same time. So even with all those meaty, cheesy meals, you may be getting even less iron than if you were to lead a **wholesome** vegan lifestyle.
It's basically a huge myth that vegetarianism leads to iron or protein deficiencies (protein deficiencies simply don't exist in the USA, no matter what diet you follow). If you take a step back and examine what livestock and poultry eat, you'll notice they are vegan.. so the iron and protein we obtain from livestock just doesn't come out of nowhere does it? :)
To subtract further from the "iron myth" I'd also like to point out that vegans benefit from a huge amount of Vitamin C in their diet, which aids in iron absorption.
There is one problem for vegans though, and that is that the veggies that are highest in iron (spinach, etc) are also very high in "oxalates" which prevent iron absorption. Of course, spinach is still great for all the other nutrients, so there's no point in NOT eating it. :)
So anyway, to sum up Iron, if you're eating wholesome vegetables like mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, and green beans, or even soy/tofu, you'll be absorbing PLENTY, if not more iron than you were on a non-vegan diet.
OK, so... protein. I have 3 words: SOY SOY SOY. I saw your remarks about soy in another topic, so I'll just hope you were joking. (and by the way, it isn't real estrogen) :) If you truly want to be a vegetarian, tofu is going to be your friend. When processed into "faux meat" it's VERY convincing as a meat replacement. I just had a Boca burger today, actually, and I thought it was great.. and only 3g of fat! Aside from tofu, there is also tempeh which is still soy-based, but a very different animal. No pun intended. =p If you want to trick your body into thinking nothing has really changed, you just need to learn how to prepare tofu and tempeh in the right ways. Extra firm tofu acts very much like a meat.. you can grill it, marinate it, stick it in a stir-fry with veggies and rice, whatever.
As for further advice, I haven't been practicing veganism for very long, and I'm honestly still transitioning out of meat eating.. so I'm really not much help.
Omega-3 fatty acids: (since you shouldn't be taking fish oils if you're vegetarian) take grape seed extract.. or buy flax seeds and grind them with a coffee grinder, and then put them into yogurts (if you don't give up dairy) or into pasta sauces.. anything where you won't really notice the change in consistency.
Vitamin B12: This is the only other "meat exclusive" nutrient I can think of, and it's really not that "exclusive". :) If you're still taking a multivitamin or eating cereal for breakfast, you should be getting enough B12. If you do start eating tofu and tempeh, they most likely also have a decent amount of B12.
Well, if you need any more "horror stories" from the dairy or egg industries to make you want to go full-blown vegetarian, let us know. :)