Yes, that quote thing can be confusing because it doesn't actually show you the quote box until after you've posted, so you don't know if you've accidentally put your own response within the box. You just have to be sure to return a couple of times so you are for sure below it. You should be able to go back and edit to pull your own text back up if you have pushed it to far down.
It drives me crazy because, I accidentally do that all the time. Especially when I am trying to divide the quote up. You have to know html. It's one of the things we are looking to improve to make more user friendly. SO SORRY!
The other thing: that you don't have formatting options/no toolbar when you just hit reply shouldn't be normal here. So I am going to post to everyone and see how many others are having the same problem.
Can you tell me if you have a mac or pc and what net engine you normally use? If you use more than one like I do (Modzilla and IE), then let me know.