1. Watch the 4min mark of this video where he hits the side of the cab to stop the ball from hitting the right sling while it's rolling down the right orbit. I don't like to hit the side of my cab like that so I just nudge from the front which is less effective and the ball often just touches the bottom of the right sling but doesn't trigger it, I can usually keep ball control.
I assume that touching the sling from the right orbit is authentic to original gameplay and is intended to make the game slightly harder.
My eject from castle on the left orbit loop is not as smooth as this machine and often bounces down the left loop making a live catch difficult sometimes, this can be corrected with a slight nudge, but it did seem to take a smoother path when I first played it. I'm not sure why this is I will look into it.
3 Catapult....I just posted a thread about this issue on PPS forum http://www.planetarypinball.com/forum/index.php/topic,577.0.html
I don't know about your Castle SDTM issue, perhaps you are a noob player?
I have an issue with my Castle roll over switch not registering about 1 in 10 shots, seems the roll over wire doesn't sit up through the plastic very high. I have tried bending it but was a bit hesitant to be too aggressive and don't think I actually got it to sit any higher. I wanted to remove the switch to bend the wire but one of the screws was obscured by something, I will have another look when I get more time.
Also my balls don't exit the wireforms as smoothly as on the video, which slows the ball down a bit probably making gameplay slightly easier. I'm going to see if I can line mine up better to get the ball to retain more speed.
These are just small niggles and tweaks though, awesome game I'm really enjoying mine DOUBLE SUPER JACKPOT!