@Phaedrus- I used to be afraid to prepare a standing rib roast myself, but I have found some more fool-proof ways to cook standing rib roast. If you follow the advice about standing rib roast by Alton Brown, you shouldn't have too many problems. I even cooked enough standing prime rib roast to satisfy 200 wedding guests one time.
One way to get a perfect standing rib roast is to watch the temperature like a hawk. A lot of ovens go through heating cycles that can vary by as much as 50 degrees. You need to use a meat thermometer that will send out the standing rib roast's temperature through a probe while it is in the oven. Most of the time, the ideal doneness is around medium rare to medium, not well-done.