I do not count the cast on as a row either, unless a pattern says so. The cast on is the cast on, then comes the first row. That being said, unless your pattern gives specific instructions one way or another, you should do what's best for you.
jinx said:I do not count the cast on as a row. There is a difference of opinion of that. If your pattern says to purl then purl it. The rest of the pattern will assume you did that. It determines the right side and the wrong side of the project.