"Primary" is a little hard to define since I tend to bulk age my meads. I rack off the lees when the fermentation subsides and they start clearing, although I tend to let them continue to naturally clarify. I might rack a few times, or I might just hit it with sparkalloid once and be done with it. You lose so much volume with racking that I'm trying to minimize those. But I almost always leave it in a carboy until I need it. With modern techniques, my fermentations are typically done in about 2 weeks, 3 tops.
Many of my meads are variations of a straight tupelo mead. Metheglin, melomels, braggot, cyser, pyment, etc. Figure out how to make a good straight mead and then think about the flavor combinations.
I don't always rack off the lees in a timely fashion. I can let them go for 6-9 months. Depends on when I need them.
I almost never think about my meads for the first 6 months. The flavors can be a moving target and I don't want to start fiddling with something that's in the process of changing.
Curt Stock is more aggressive with his meads. I've seen him get them ready to drink in 6 weeks. He's an animal. I remember him giving a 6 week old melomel to Charlie Papazian. Charlie couldn't believe it was that young, because it tasted so good, clean and finished. But that's how Curt rolls. He read Ken Schramm's book and just put it into practice.