I've had my troubles learning, but enjoy the struggle. I've upgraded my equipment, but there is no substitution for practice. I don't do it very often so I've haven gotten over the "hump" so to speak. I've only recently started using flux and it's already made a big difference for me. My first playfield swap is coming up and I know that will be the point where I get it down finally. There are some good tips in this thread.
I haven't use forceps/hemostats to solder. They are really hand for grabbing stuff stuck under ramps etc.