I'm as newbee as they come - haven't even made my first batch - so please forgive if this seems like something I should know....

I'm having difficulty understanding the relationship between ABV, flavor, and sweetness. The Newbee Guide to Making Mead talks about deciding ahead of time what you want the alcohol content to be - why? Other than not wanting my guests to fall out of their chair after just one glass, why should I care about ABV? A recent post implied that a low ABV mead would be relatively flavorless - does that mean that you have to add things post-fermentation to bring back the flavor? Or just that it would be a waste of specialty honey because you wouldn't taste the unique flavor? Can a low ABV mead be sweet? I would prefer to make lower ABV brews (because of the aforementioned chair issue), but now I'm having doubts. Is there a noticeable difference between, say, a 12% ABV and a 16% ABV (or 7% and 12%)? If so, in what way?

I'll probably just throw it all together and let 'er rip, and whatever I get is what I get, but this seems like an important piece of theory to understand. Thank you in advance for your patient explanations.

Meadfully yours,