Nimbin, great discussion here
. Follow Pav's guidance. He's my guru. The basic thermophilic starters are ST, LH and/or lactobacillus bulgaricus, with a host of mesophilic lactobacilli that are found in raw milk (or added, in pasteurized - e.g., LBC80, Lactobacillus casei subsp. rhamnosus), as well as a nominal amount of PS (I would forget adding propionic, if using raw milk - if it was grazed milk, PS should be in there). It really all depends on your milk, if you're using raw, you can depend on your milk more for its complex contributions to the cheese. Otherwise, you'll have to play with added cultures more.
Affinage is a standard linens-cascading wash, though like Beaufort, it's an incredible diversity of species apparently dominated by various coryneform and micrococci strains (PDF
). I've found comte to be quite mild compared to other gruyeres, esp. compared to Beaufort. It has a low salt content - .4 to 1%; a fairly low propionic acid content (.1-.4%, compared to .25-.5% in an emmental), so keep that in mind. If you read French, let me know - I've some good studies on Comte specifically.
Hope this is helpful. I'd really soak in the above-referenced thread, particularly Pav's commentary. Good luck! A wonderful cheese to master!