Wow! I restarted this dead thread thinking maybe two people would read my comment, and we've got the whole forum in here now. Neat!
I'm spending money on replacing the hotend with an E3D V6 volcano because my extrusion issues seem to be partly related to the hotend clogging or snagging the plastic. My extruder was about to get replaced with a Titan, but I discovered that my extruder stepper driver voltage was too low and causing some of my issues with plastic not coming out like it should. I kicked that up and am printing my first part as I write. I'm hopeful that it comes out at all. I can work on quality a little at a time.
FT has been good about responding to e-mails, but they're slow. I have nothing against the company and, in fact, I may order another couple of printer kits from them in the future. It depends on how my experience here ultimately pans out. I REALLY enjoyed building the printer, but when it was done I expected it to work. There's so much that has to be done that isn't in the manual, it's pretty crazy.
As I said in my original post, many thanks to all of you for your help. I'll be printing Christmas presents by the end of the week (I think). Hopefully I can get em all done in time!