I changed out my stock ropes to AHE buckles w/chainlinks and webbing before I even hung outdoors. Just didn't like the look/feel of the rope, so Bradley has them now.
+1 on the foot being slightly higher than the head end - if not you will find yourself sliding into the foot end.
I tried the pocket insulation trick, but I never seemed to have the right amount of spare clothing available, so I went with a HG Underquilt. Love it.