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patchbay woes

i've been doing things in a pretty disorganized way for years and now that 
finally have a good collection of hardware processors and stuff, i want to
change that. i am totally new to the world of patchbays, and i've read up 
the basics but a lot of it's still flying over my head. the electrix stuff 
bought has balanced outputs, but i've got a kaoss pad and that's clearly
unbalanced being RCAs.. i keep reading how "bad" unbalanced is supposed to
be about noise, and since i'm still using a consumer level card for the 
being the last thing i need is more of that.

my mixer has 2 aux send jacks and 4 aux returns, so I figure with a patch
bay i could pick and choose what processors get used without having to dig
around in the back of my rig and wear out the jacks. or i could plug
something directly in and just send the processor out to a stereo channel 
the mixer, stuff like that. presumably if i set it up right i could chain
devices together, arguably adding noise but maybe getting some great 
anyway. am i pipe dreaming or is this what a patch bay really does? and how
do i get past this balanced/unbalanced thing?

reading back over this i realize that these are potentially really stupid
questions but i'm really new to doing things "the right way" so any advice
is appreciated. thanks!