Wonderful article! I purchased this from a nursery in June 08 because of the interesting foilage. I was pleasantly surprised to read of the side benefits of the berries after I brought it home. I'm in zone 7 (Fairfax, VA outside of Washington, DC) and it's thriving in our hot, humid summer.
I live in Zone 7 (Petersburg, Virginia) and I recently bought a black laceleaf elderberry in a two-gallon pot. It wasn't an entirely impulsive purchase, as I had read about elderberries for a while and wanted the variety of foliage in my mixed border. Then, once I'd brought it home, I wondered if it was going to be too large. From what you wrote, I feel encouraged to go ahead and plant it and prune it. Thanks for the information and an enjoyable article.
wendymadre - I live in zone 4 and my black lace elderberry takes cutting back very well. One year after a tree fell on it, it had 3 small stubs left and it came back the next year no problem. In fact, it is quite the grower and I cut it back however I want with no issues.