Yeah, I'm really happy with the paint results. My painter is named Larry F. and lives in the St. Louis area. I'd be more than happy to send anyone his information along with a high recommendation. Not only is the work top notch, but he was a real pleasure to deal with and his prices were very, very fair.
As for the bead blasting, I love learning lessons like this, but hate learning them after the fact!
I took a bunch of parts (cylinders, heads, etc) to a local vintage BMW shop for some repair and they bead blasted everything, so I thought it would be OK for everything else. The shop owner is extremely knowledgeable, so I'm sure he properly masked all the oil-wet areas, unlike me. I appreciate the heads-up and will do everything I can to clean up the valve covers before installing them.