You and I will not agree with what sounds best. You want a lope to the motor, regardless of the real intent of the motor, because you think it sounds good. I, on the other hand, am interested in power and efficiency, whether or not it includes a lope. I've been wrenching on motors for almost 60 years and I pretty much know what works and what doesn't. You cannot make max power from a low compression motor by using a camshaft that is engineered to make the motor lope and I understand that you don't care, you just want the motor to lope. So, I would suggest that you use a CompCams Thumpr. Use the first cam on the list from the manufacturer, it will work better with a stock static compression ratio. If you try to use one of the lumpier cams down on the list, you will have built a turd. Well.....in my opinion, it will be a turd anyway.
COMP Cams: Chevy 262-400 c.i. 8 Cyl '55-'98
As far as headers on a street motor, I would use a tri-y design with at least a 3/8" thick flange. Thinner materials will curl up like a potato chip from the heat and spit out the gasket.