SOAP is a great thing, not only does it get you clean, but it is also the foundation for most modern webservice communication. It is supposed to be platform independent.
A good thought but does, however, seem to have it's limitation. To be able to thoroughly understand the communication between the client and webservice a good program is needed that can help you study how the web service works and how the SOAP-messages are sent and received.
When working in a .NET environment, a .NET based client is very advantageous and a business partner of mine at the company Lemontree, Oskar Mattsson, suggested a very good application. I havn't had time to try it out fully yet, but it is also a GotDotNet-project so you can also read the code of how it is doing it's calls.
The name of the program is WebServiceStudio 2.0 and you can download it here:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant