Well, to follow this issue up, all is back to normal now.
It seems the problem was a combination of beans and machine scale. I was given a pack of "McDonalds" beans to try recently. Interestingly, with these beans, I am now back at my original finer setting. In fact, now Ive fine-tuned it, Im now grinding finer than I have so far in my short coffee career! My smart grinder has only 2 clicks left. What was a little strange about the last beans I used however, was that they suddenly went from a certain grind to a much coarser one literally overnight. They were supposedly a few weeks old, but Im sure these McDonalds beans arent as fresh, and theyre grinding much finer with a decent pour. Weird.
The steamer seems to be back to its original self after I gave the machine a de-scaling. I originally performed this for the first time about 2 months ago, which was a couple of months after I began the venture into "serious" coffee. The steam pressure is much better now, and I now have to re-visit my steaming technique, as the temperature comes up much faster now! Ive read youre supposed to de-scale monthly, but I figured with my 1-2 cups per day max, I could probably go longer. Seems not to be the case!
Anyhow, crisis averted. If in doubt, try a de-scale and different beans!