So I ended up replacing the points last night. Kinda of a b@#$t setting the point gap without the "special" tool. But I got it pretty close. Seemed to make an instant positive improvement. I'm studying up a little more on checking/resetting the timing. I'm hoping this might be where a big part of my problem lies. The edge that rides on the lobe of the cam was pretty worn down when I compared it to the new set of points.
Still think I'm going to go with the upgraded carb. However, I want to make sure the points and timing are right first.
Your input has actually been super helpful. I was loosing all hope and you restored it a bit for me. Thanks! Got any tips on timing? LOL