My family has always enjoyed my "practice cakes" whether I am trying new flavors or new decorating techniques, so I have never felt like I wasted anything!
But you can practice piping, etc. on wax paper or something similar...
The vanilla WASC by MacsMom on this site is excellent! It is my most requested cake. It is available in the Gourmet Flavors thread.
BTW I skip the pudding and use all creamer (and milk depending on how much creamer I have)
You can mix in a box of white chocolate pudding with Bettercreme or other whipped topping and use that for filling or frosting... it is yummy. I have also used Torani white chocolate flavoring to flavor my buttercream.
I have ordered several items from China and actually received a couple within a week. I was very impressed with the customer service of the sellers I used. I did have an order from Canada this earlier this year that took about 5 weeks.