Thanks to Vagabonda and others for all your advice which helped make this a wonderful trip! I will break up the report into several posts within this thread.
I only had 7 days to spend in Sicily, which was certainly a challenge because there is so much to see and do. For this trip (my first to Sicily), I wanted to focus on Greek history. I enojy nothing more than to be out there in the hot sun climbing over ancient ruins and trying to imagine what the cities looked like at their zenith.
This was a solo trip and I flew into Palermo, rented a car for transportation around the island, and flew out through Catania. I brought my GPS Navigation System (Garmin Nuvi 770) and lots of paper maps. I brought a large highway map of Sicily from Touring Club Italiano but only referred to it once or twice. The Garmin nav system was definitely useful, but had its limitations. It was almost completey useless in cities and did not have the current highway maps around Catania where they are doing construction on the autostrada between Catania and Siracusa. I only got lost once or twice and rather than get stressed out, I just treated it like an adventure to see what things I might not have seen if I stayed on the planned route.
I've read lots of posts on driving in Sicily and here is my experience. This was my first time driving in Italy. I had not driven a manual shift car in 10 years but had no trouble with the Fiat Punto I rented. Actually, it was a lot of fun. Driving on the autostrada was very easy. The only toll I encountered was a portion of the autostrada between Catania and Taormina and the only real challenge with the toll booths is to be sure you are in the correct lane. When entering the toll road, you want the lane that is unmarked or says bigletto (ticket) where you press a button and get a ticket. At one booth, the ticket machine was out of tickets and you had to open your door and reach up to the second machine and use that one (or I guess you could carefully walk over to another booth). When exiting and paying in coins, use the unmarked lane or look for the graphic showing a driver handing a coin to an attendant and use that one Do not use the lanes with yellow stripes as these are for automatic electronic payment (unless of course you have this capability). Slow Travel Italy has some good information on driving in Italy www.slowtrav.com/italy/driving/index.htm
I found it important to stay in the right hand lane on the autostrada except when passing and after you finish passing, immediately get back into the right hand lane. Watch for cars traveling at high speed in the left hand lane.
For other roads, I found that stop signs are often ignored. I saw a truck go right through a stop sign at high speed with limited visibility and just beeped his horn before he went through. I could not bring myself to do this and I stopped at most of the stop signs.
Getting gas was easy. I got gas twice at a full service station and just asked for "il pieno" or fill it up.
The most difficulty I had driving was in Siracusa because that's where I encountered many motor scooters and lots of traffic with unmarked streets.
I rented with Avis because I do a lot of business travel using them and I get free upgrades and generally a good level of service. However, If I were to rent again in Italy, I would probably use auto europe because I think they would be a lot cheaper.
After landing in Palermo in the early morning, I picked up the car and drove straight to Segesta and spend a few hours there, then went on to Erice where I spent the afternoon and night. Next, I drove down to Cave di Cusa and Selinunte and spent the night in Agrigento. The next day was spent in Agrigento, then I drove to Siracusa and spent 3 nights there. Then I drove up to Taormina, spent a day there and they flew out of Catania. When I dropped off the car at Catania, there were no signs for rental car drop-off. I followed the signs to departure (partenze) and in front of the terminal, I could see below the rental car lot in the distance so I just followed the road around to the right and got to the rental car lot.
I'll post follow-ups on each location I visited.