when you removed the pickup covers, did you happen to screw the pole pieces flush with the bobbin? It's a silly question but most people I know don't and unintentionally have them much closer to the bridge due to raising the bobbin to match the previous cover height, hence pole ends closer to the strings, brighter tone?!... but from what I can tell you've radius your pole pieces. It's a good little article, whilst I don't agree with some of your findings - it's a mute point as you do and it's your guitar. I love upgrading Epi electronics a full rewire usually takes me an hour to 2 depending if I'm doing the switch and pups or not...I'm slow and methodical haha, I do find epi pots to be hit and miss, some with nice roll off, others not so much. And you're correct I believe in the assumption that the nut/frets should come nice from factory but with mass production things get sacrificed right? Also I'm in the camp that wood has little to none tone value on the guitar at all...however Epi tone wood is a wide subject of conversation - but I was led to believe even tho they have a flame veneer they certainly have a maple cap of sorts.. I would avoid the whole presenting opinions as facts thing, so many varied views in here..