Will you be running the live site off your own server, or is it shared hosting? I assume the WAMP setup isn't the beginning and end of your rewrite work.
There are two reasons for sticking with htaccess.
One is simply that you don't have to keep restarting the server. Obviously it's not as big a deal when it's just another program on your HD, but it's still a few more seconds of your time. If you're trying something new, first get it working in htaccess and then make the adjustments to put it in the config file.
The other and potentially more important one is that config and htaccess don't always work the same way. You don't want to get into habits with your WAMP server that you won't be able to use in shared hosting on your real site. Set it up in htaccess and you can practically cut-and-paste. I've got MAMP myself, but I hardly ever touch the config file.
Now, as long as you've got your pseudo-server, take advantage of it to set up a RewriteLog. (This can only be done in config.) I think you need a fairly high level, say 7 or 8, to log everything you want to keep track of. But that's fine so long as it isn't your production server getting bogged down.
Do other things in your config file work? For example, if you make a redirect using mod_alias (Redirect by that name) do you get redirected?