Well... I think that thoughts are necessary in the beginning, as long as they're appropriate (vitakka and vicara, initial thought and its application). I'm not sure if there's some confusion in between thoughts and citta. (I've never read abhidhammas.)
I don't really feel comfortable bringing my own experience into it, either. It's not that useful. I think that the best that we can do is just to share notes on what our understanding of the Dhamma is, and then trust each other to reconcile them with whatever our applications might be.