Any recommendations on where to begin study/research on i18n before we start development (websites, articles, books, etc...)?
Design for Internationalization. - list of books from Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines.
From the IBM Developer site, be sure to check the related links.
The Unicode Consortium
W3C Internationalization Page
MicroSoft's Global Software Development Page
Some non technical articles.
Also, go to Where can I find online documentation for database xyz?, click on the database(s) you might be interested in and search on "NLS" ( National Language Support. )