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So, I connected my fuel pressure gauge to my fuel line and found that whenever I put the key to the "ON" position to activate the fuel pump, it only reaches 35psi. (Which is quite the difference from what the service manual states it should be, which is between 50 and 60). Plus, it looks like with my situation, the pressure is leaking because after only a couple minutes, it dropped down to about 30. After seeing this, things are beginning to make more sense where the hard / rough starts are concerned. It's not retaining pressure at all.

Anyway, it's in the shop now being looked at by the pros. If anything develops from that, I'll update this thread again. But if anyone reading all of this experiences the same or similar start-up problems and conditions this entire thread describes, I'd suggest getting and using a good fuel pressure gauge to see if you have any fuel line leaks or fuel pump problems / fuel supply line constraints.
 
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