I discovered to my dismay that a lot of people who participate in these forums are sarcastic and miserable when they have to endure the naive and ignorant questions of yet another "newbie." Not content with insulting people who visit the forums and post innocent questions, they also like to call out any examples of ignorance about China that come to their attention. For example, a visiting journalist expressed surprise at how far Western fashions, music, and culture has permeated a supposedly communist country. So he's just a "clueless twit."
I gave up on reading Dave's ESL Cafe for this reason, even though it's supposedly the pre-eminent ESL website on the internet. There's just too much negativity, crudeness and nastiness. I occasionally check out Raoul's China Saloon; it's a little friendlier but cynicism and pessimism still abound.
As the author of Writer, Teacher, Tea Drinker: says: You see, the problem is China attracts, well, a certain kind of foreigner. All you need is a college degree and a foreign passport and you can land yourself a nice job, with a decent salary and plenty of free time. Or, a few thousand dollars will get you a couple of hours of class a day, and eventually a degree. How do most foreigners spend their free time? Drinking and trying to hook up with people. Blah. Or on the other end of the spectrum there are the sinophiles who do everything better and cooler than you. Speak fluent Chinese, mock you for your “western ways,” and generally try to make you feel like a worthless turd that should bow down to their awesomeness.
There are many job placement agencies on the internet that offer good information about living overseas -- but there are also horror stories about unscrupulous fly-by-night agencies that use bait and switch tactics. If possible, contact schools and universities in China directly, do not use a middleman. I found my job through Profs Abroad.
When you are considering a job offer, ask to be put in contact with someone who's already teaching there. You should not have to pay a fee to any middleman to find you a job (although of course there will be fees for your visa application and so on).
The most reassuring, friendly and fun information I found was the "Local Laowei" video series. Really helpful. I also like the down-to-earth video series by English teacher Austin Guidry.