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I'm having difficulty merging datafiles from the NHD while still keeping functionality as a geometric network. I'm using ArcGIS 10.1, so the USGS merge tool isn't an option.

Using the medium resolution staged NHD files, I've tried 1) merging the NHDFlowline files and then building a geometric network - results in a network with "Indeterminate Flow" and 1 type 12 error; and 2) putting two NHDFlowline files into a new Feature dataset inside of a file geodatabase, then constructing the geometric network - results in a network with "Indeterminate flow" also.

Not sure if I am mis-specifying the geometric network attributes, missing a step or something else.

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Yep, turns out I wasn't honoring the wisdom of the beginner's mind and I jumped right to an assumption that my problem was way more complex than simply not having run the Set Flow Direction tool. Entries in the attribute table of the NHDFlowline file suggest that "WITH_DIGITIZED_DIRECTION" is the right parameter to go with - and it seems to check out visually.

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