For the drop increase, I'm taking the "adapt or die" approach, which usually works for me better than going slow and gradual. I'm setting it where I think I'll be, and will back off only if it doesn't work out after awhile. Those of us at the extremes of fitting parameters, as I know you are as well Cleave, can't always take the standard approach. And when it comes to drop, you are moving that around all the time as you ride, and the lowest position is no different than just really tucking in and bending the arms, with the bars higher. It will affect arm position, but my lowest position will remain the same. Plus, I trimmed the front brake cable 1 cm too much to set the stem any higher. How's that for commitment?
I also need narrower bars, but Giant isn't even selling these bars yet, other than on a new bike. If I want to go from 44 to 42 with these, I'll have to buy a smaller bike just to get the bars. So, I'm looking at other options - I want to maintain the aero approach, and probably stick with carbon to deaden vibration, since the bike is "less than forgiving". When I swap bars, I'll raise the stem if it isn't working, or cut the steerer if it is. Bike came with a glue in insert to replace the mechanical expander, once the steerer is cut. It stiffens things up, and I'm sure saves a few grams... This is definitely the most "no-compromise" racing bike I've put together.
The 9000 FD shifts like you wouldn't believe, and the trim is really nice. If you try a little trim style push, but have already trimmed, you shift the ring, because the touch moving to the big ring is so light. And when you go from big to small, it goes to the trimmed position, reducing the chance of a chain drop - then you can trim it all the way if you are near the top of the cassette. As some reviews have said, it's what 7900 should have been, and it will keep a lot of people from going electronic, because the FD is as good as the electronic FD, so long as you are okay with trimming yourself rather than having that done for you by your electronic major domo.