I think what's being said is that regardless of how you crutch things up, there will be room for improvement w/a better matched setup.
I suspect using a lot of initial, all the way to locking the timing (just like a B&S lawnmower), will make an improvement in idle quality and off idle response. But an improvement does not mean it is set up right, it only means you will be able to enjoy it more than you would if you left it w/o enough initial timing. This is especially true on a street machine that will see a lot of different driving conditions. I think sometimes guys forget that what's best for a race car is not always going to be right for ALL cars.
I suspect the race gas mixing and such will get old pretty quick, especially if you plan on actually using the car on a regular basis. The way it is now, every time you visit the race gas pump you could be paying an installment on the right parts, and I think you totally get all this.
On the bright side, one thing you have going for you is displacement. If this was a 355 SBC w/the same parts combo, you'd be out of luck.
One last thing: sneak up on the total timing unless you're sure the octane is sufficient to prevent detonation. Starting out 4-6 degrees lower than normal would be a good idea, advance it 2 degrees at a time until you see it slow down in mph at the end of the 1/4 mile. Then go back to the previous setting- that'll be the total you want. You'll also want to know what's the max timing you can get by with using straight pump gas, in the event you get stranded somewhere where race gas isn't available. You can mark the distributor to show the two max timing settings so you can eyeball the timing by simply turning the distributor if need be.