Compression checked out good...95/105. Praise the Lord!
So now I'm thinking way too much fuel is being delivered. The spark plug threads were soaked with fuel, and it hasn't run in two weeks. Is it possible that the aftermarket fuel pressure regulator is set too high and it's overpowering the needle valve, flooding the cylinders with fuel? That may explain the hard start too...it's flooded so I have to crank it over over a bunch to get it aired out?