Painting is all about the prep, same as the chroming process. You have to be patient when prepping anything for finishing and get it as good as you possibly can before applying a final coat. As far as painting goes, you can always work on blemishes and repaint until you're happy with the result, but once chromed it'll be that way unless you have it re-chromed again. Of course, that also depends on how much prep work the chrome shop will do for you and how meticulous they'll be. I say keep at it, I think you'll get it figured out given some time!
Sorry man! That's a question I can't really answer. The best I can give is general info - make sure it's clean (free from dust, oil, etc.) and as straight/true as possible. What we did in an industrial paint booth was wiped everything down with MEK or acetone immediately before painting to remove any oils and made sure that there was no lint left over from our rags. Hopefully this helps a little! Otherwise you may be better off asking someone with a lot more experience with body and paint than I. What I do know is it's a tedious process when you want to get it right so patience is key.
I agree, It nose is a little goofy looking, but still haven't quite come around to flat face the tucked bumper has. I did smoothy fiberglass bumpers with the insert molding trim delete. Can see it in aviator~ind of.