"And we know from studies that some people aren't shedding every few weeks (right?). So I'm wondering if there is another type of "active" behavior, for instance, is the virus not just waiting quietly in the nerve cells, but is it still being "active", trying to come out and infect other nerve cells or fight off the immune system cells...and is this part of what keeps the antibody count regenerating, and possibly without coming to the surface of the skin?"
On average you shed the virus about 45 days a year whether you notice symptoms or not. The virus is still active in your body even if you aren't get obvious lesions - it's shedding from the skin periodically but your body is keeping it under control enough that it's not able to cause obvious "classic" lesions that you can't help but notice. Perhaps this article might help you out - I've included the link to the abstract. Not sure if this one is our pdf library or not but you can check for it there too.
Reactivation of Genital Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection in Asymptomatic Seropositive Persons
Anna Wald, M.D. et al.
N Engl J Med. 2000 Mar 23;342(12):844-50