Some fair questions there...
My EM6910, the spouts dont line up either... I wouldnt be concerned about that.
The dry puck, or lack thereof... is because you are under dosing - how about going a tad courser and dosing up... this will "tighten" the PF sooner in the group..... Which leads to your other question about the gauge, which again is indicating you are under dosing... up the dose and youll find the gauge stays in the specific area, just past the point of black..say... 2:30-3:00 oclock
The dripping hotwater spout - mine does the same thing... tighten the knob just a little bit more and it stops..
Hope this helps....
Question for you - how are you dosing into the PF?