i'm glad i'm not the only one.
how's the compression? looking at the cylinder with the head off there looks to be quite a bit of room before the piston would hit the head. you could probably take a full millimeter off the head and the piston still wouldn't hit.
i sanded the hi comp head and cylinder ultra flat and got rid of the head gasket. runs a bit better now on the low end, but like i said, there looks to be a lot of room for improvement.