Posting an update to the ball launch issues in case it helps others.
For the ball launch not making it to the top or all the way around, I went through it all - read all the posts, CGC tickets, ball guide updates, ramp bending, launch strength, launch angle, etc. and the overall launch was much better. It would make it to the top almost all the time, and all the way around about 8-9 out of 10 times. However, I noticed that ball would still sometimes hit the upper wire frame (slow motion camera), and of course this can be raised up slightly, but not enough to always clear it.
So, this is pretty much how it is on all games as far as I can tell. The launch ramp angle usually just barely clears the upper wireframe. Launch strength can be decreased too. However, the only way I see to keep the ball from flying too high at default launch strength all the time, is to lower the ramp slope angle to ensure the ball rolls along at the surface and doesn't fly up any higher. This was accomplished by bending the ramp at a lower point (closer to the start) just slightly so the slope is more gradual. Now it works perfectly, with slow motion camera verifying.