Yay! With Lukito's help (and his ramps, wrenches, towels, jacket, cardboard box, vice grip, bleeder, and pliers), I finally got that frickin CDV out of my car!!! It drives like normal now!!! My upshifts are so much smoother and my downshifts are even better. Before, when i let up on the clutch too quickly (like from a stop light or something), it felt like my clutch would hesitate and then all of a sudden slap the flywheel. Turns out that's exactly what was happening. Now that it follows my foot, it smoothly engages. And I don't have to play "guess where the engagement point is" game anymore! Okay sorry, you can tell from how excited I am how bad it was driving w/ that thing on. Thanks for the help and the equipment!
Also the alignment is starting to show it's true colors, especially on freeway onramps and medium speed curves. The slack i mentioned is gone (maybe the tires just needed a few miles to adjust to the new alignment). In it's place is more turn and less scrub. It feels more like it's on rails. Not revolutionary, but definitely an incremental improvement from before. Can't wait to pwn you all on the track!!!