The reinforcement plate isn't the nicest looking blingy piece, but for something you won't see function is definately better than form.
As for the hardware - I meant to ask you where you are getting the 10.9 grade hardware from. I find it extremely hard to find a decent supplier locally to me. The best I've found is STILL Ace.
As for having Dylan take a look at the final product - that's a great idea. He builds more transmissions than anyone I'd think. I'm looking forward to seeing what he has to say about the reinforcement kit.