Denny, I think I know what your talking about on your finish issue. I just got done with making a BUNCH of pens for Father's Day (co workers ordered several from me) and have spent the last 3 days doing pens. This is what I have found to work great for me.
After I sand the blank from 150-400, I wipe the blank down with a dry cloth to get rid of any dust. I apply one coat of thin CA. Quick spritz on the accelerator and count to ten. Then I apply 5 coats of the medium CA with a quick spritz of accel. on each coat and counting to ten. Then I apply the last coat with thin again BECAUSE there is uneven spots and the thin seems to fill them in nicely. Then on the first micro mesh, I make sure that I get this as even as possible. By that I mean I have a light that I can use to make sure I don't see any glossy spots. If I do, I wet my micro mesh and keep sanding until I do not see any glossy spots. Once that all important first micro mesh is completed and everything is even, then I can run through the rest of my micro mesh with no problems. I am finding that I get very consistent results with this and by the time I get to my final 12000 micro mesh, the pens are as shiny as I think they can get.