I'm guilty of being able to drop catch most of the time, but never figuring out how to utilize it (aim for the next shot, etc) with it... It's on my list of to dos before the next big tourney. (consistently tap pass and better manage holding during multiball being the other biggies)
As far as the divisions - I'd argue that one thing we need to keep in mind is that the average talent at Pinburgh isn't the average talent level at a local tourney. You have people paying high hundreds if not thousands to fly/stay/eat/etc just to play in this thing, and that takes a dedication that outstrips what would normally be considered lower talent. I had a crap day one and fell to D by one point, felt poorly about it, and wished I was restricted to at least C. That said - Although the first few groups were as expected on Friday, after the dinner break I found other players in my situation and it was about as competitive as I remember C was the prior year. (case in point - 550k on Mars Trek shouldn't be third in a true D division...)
I think this is why the PAPA D was restricted as high as 7500 this year - to give new players a chance to experience tournament style, pressures, experience, etc... I would like to see Pinburgh adopt a similar higher restriction to give some players that same shot. (maybe 1,500 or so... It would be interested to see how many players that even encompasses). I know players who were new to competitive pinball, joined to give it a shot, qualified in D, and continued to get pounded day two into total discouragement.
Two years ago, I had a guy in our bank that didn't plunge off, but specifically stated 'I'm just live flipping because I'd rather have a shot at money in C than qualify in A or B'. Not sure how to better address it, but it does happen. I also didn't tell a TD, but after the fact was told I most definitely should have.
Sorry this is a bit all over the map - written over the course of an hour or two during first day back to work.