WIP: Scolopendra Gigantea!!!

First of all Im a total noob, so pardon my glaring ignorance in such matters. I am working on modeling Scolopendra Gigantea = Giant Centipede. I have a few concerns that can hopefully be addressed by one of you kind forum people. My first concern is in regards to the multi-res mod. I was under the impression that I could sculpt the model in hi poly detail then bake the normals to a low poly version of the same model using BI. I played around with it a little and I even baked from the multi-res, but then how do I apply that to my low poly model? All the tutorials regarding the subject are abrupt at best, some without audio and spectacularly un-insightful for my spongy noob brain.

Then my next concern is that what I gathered from those tutorials is that even after I apply the baked normals as a texture to the low poly mesh I still need to subdivide the low-p mesh. That seems kind of pointless. If I wanted all the subdivisions, Id just keep my hi-p model. Please fill me in what am I missing or not understanding?

Here are a few snaps of my base segment.