I view this game like Skyrim, there IS no wrong or right way. A different choice would have led to a different outcome, but it would be better in some ways, worse in others. My whole game has been a process of making choices, then cleaning up the mess they produce. Pretty much EVERY choice has a downside, that might not be obvious at the time.
Have fun in Nipton, you have a pretty significant decision to make there!
Oh, and watch your step when you start looting the place!
I still haven't done any of the DLC's at level 37. I cheated a bit, and entered the Lonesome Road area, which netted me some extra gear early on. However I encountered some enemies I couldn't handle and backed out before I accomplished much. I think level 10 is recommended for most of them.
Did you pick up Ed-e for a companion in Primm? He's handy and fun to have around, if a bit over powered early on. If you do get him, or any other followers, I have seen a remote control mod that lets you give them commands from farther away. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks REALLY handy! All companions have a really annoying tendency to run off an kill everything once combat is initiated. This mod will let you keep them far enough away, or tell them to back off if you want to do the fighting yourself. Gopher uses it in his lets play video series, and it opens up different strategies.
While I'm on gameplay, I found that there is a bewildering array of perk choices once you start progressing. I've found the Jury Rigging perk to be extremely useful, and profitable.