Leon, it may be a little late of me to ask, but are you using assembly lube? Assembly lube on the rod and main bearings is VITAL on the first start. It will protect the bearing surfaces from excessive wear until the oil pressure comes up on the first start.
Also, did you seal the bedplate? The bedplate uses a special sealant that must be used. Regular RTV has issues holding up after a certain amount of time.
Otherwise, you have been doing a very good job, and asking excellent questions. I've been building engines for twenty years, and I only wish I'd happened across this thread sooner to help you out.
My only other piece of advice: perfectly clean, and very close attention to torque spec. These are very high precision engines with extremely close tolerances, in some cases, in race engine territory! Back when I started out, you could rebuild a 318 doing things like scraping out the ridge with a pocket knife, and not being very careful, and it'd run for a while. Not that I would ever do that, but engines today just won't tolerate things being even off a little.
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, 4.0L 2WD, 355,000 miles.