Hey again taverre,
I don't actually have any experience with any of those hammocks... just my diy one but if you installed an adjustable ridgeline, that would allow you to get the same amount of sag every time and you'd be able to easily adjust so that you can find the right length and amount of sag for you. I know the gtul is quite a small hammock, but not sure about the Byer of maine one, if your not that short then this may be contributing towards your issues, most folk go with a hammock that is 10ft + long and 5+ wide.
How did the diy job go? did the lay feel any different? Here is some instructions on whipping a hammock, Just Jeff's site
. I did mine with a sewn end channel and it was awesome!
I can only speak of my own experience but it only takes me about a minute to a minute and a half to set my hammock up... what suspension are you using?
Now to your actual questions, I would definitely fashion a ridgeline out of any old rope you have lying around and see if you can find your sweet spot before splashing out on another hammock although most folk seem more than happy with all their wb products. Not really sure what you mean by having your feet pushed up on side means?? Pics? Maybe because of the narrower hammock you are trying to lay TOO much on the diagonal?
Not sure of winter temps in Ohio but a few of the guys/gals here actually prefer pads, def worth a try but most who use them have dl hammocks and insert the pad between the layers. UQ for me was the way to go but everyone is different. Still using a s/bag on top though.
Wow, think my post is longer than your intro... summary... try and get comfy with what you have before splashing out, you'll probably end up buying loads more anyway but if/when you do there will be a much smaller learning curve if you already know what you're doing and you'll enjoy your new shiny stuff more. Try hanging with a ridgeline. Try your pad out, it might or might not be for you, then decide what you need/want. Most importantly have fun and HYOH (hang your own hang/hammock)
Welcome again and hope you enjoy it here,