Just to clear up the clay/polish thing, always clay before you polish. Actually I've moved on to a Nanoskin prep towel. Does the same thing as a clay bar only it takes a fraction of the time. In any case, the clay step removes bonded contaminates from the surface of your paint leaving a completely clean and smooth surface to polish. The polish will then remove the swirls and scratches from your paint. Depending on the grade of clay or prep towel/mitt/pad you're using, there's potential to lightly marr the surface of your paint, so you don't want to do the clay step after polishing.
I stick with either the 2 bucket wash method with grit guards in my buckets or the "garry dean wash method" depending on how dirty the vehicle is. The 2 bucket is pretty self explanatory. If you've never heard of the garry dean method, look it up on youtube. It's a wash method using a rinseless wash. It works awesome, I can do it in my garage out of the sun, and you dry as you wash so you get no water spots.
For drying, if I do a 2 bucket wash, I'll go over it with forced air (I use a metro vac
n blo, but an air compressor or leaf blower will work as well) to get all the water out of the crevices and then finish drying with a waffle weave drying towel. If I do a rinseless wash I dry after washing every panel with a waffle weave drying towel.
I'm on vacation in a week and will be doing a full paint correction/detail with a paint coating on the 05 (black as well) I bought last week and will be doing a full write up with before/after pictures and the process