This article about effective blocking methods was recently posted with the Animation Mentor newsletter.
Relevant to this class, he makes the tongue-in-cheek remark that once you've figured out what your poses are, and at what times (largely from video reference), then you're "almost done."
I agree with him, from the creative standpoint. But practically, you still have to pose the character in 3D, get interpolation working on all of your curves, etc. That chews up lots of time. Based on our recent conversations in class, it seems that this is a key spot to brainstorm ways to accelerate the process.