Oh yeah, don't get me wrong, I love my TBH's. I was saying that from what I have observed, perhaps for some newbies it would be easier starting with a Lang. TBH's have their quirks, but I read up enough that I was comfortable with all of them. At this point I am looking to get a few Langs just so I can be justified in my experience when I recommend what others should do. I was simply pointing out that most of the bugs have been worked out in a Lang, since they have been so much more common. I compare TBH's vs Langs like gasoline cars vs natural gas cars. The technology on the NG cars has been around for decades, but very little use/exposure, so perhaps less time to work out kinks.
OK, so it sounds like you are good to go. I certainly would have been looking for eggs long ago when I didn't see the queen. I know it's hot out, but if you're careful you can still work the hives. I think it was at least 90 degrees during my last inspection. At least it sure felt like it in my veil!
I don't know that attacks on the hive will necessarily stop the queen from laying. Robbing/attacks should happen in the brood nest last of all. Typically the guards will keep that commotion away from the brood nest and queen, so it shouldn't keep her from laying. I really don't know why your queen would have just taken a break from laying. I guess if there was a really bad dearth she could have drastically slowed her laying. Was it really that dry for you guys a couple weeks ago?
Next time you crack into the hive, dig deep for those eggs and let us know. I need closure!