[*]Agreed, great points.
I fly with just as much fuel as I need always allowing for the obvious alternate.
In 1950 fuel and repairs were cheap by todays rates but in 1950 the bean counters still looked at these numbers very closely.
I am not a real world pilot but over the coarse of near 1000 hours on the only plane I fly I have found that using a 5 degree nose up on climb provides the best climb rate.
One would think that If the nose is at let say 10 degree up it would get to your set cruise altitude faster, Wrong.
Its much harder on those temperamental engines, and your fuel cost will simply go through the roof.
Get the nose too far up and you're pushing rather than lifting.
I fly at no more than FL 24, I don't think this aircraft was flown at much higher attitudes.
I have read stories that descents could be at very steep angles to make up for the very expensive assents.
Cold weather exceptions/operations ( Arctic) to this rule were very slow graduated step descents to prevent temperature shocking of the engines ( radical temperature variations ) which created very expensive premature failures and/or repairs.
It's really not optimal to target a deck angle in the climb, as you are doing. Target a speed and a power setting is the way to do it instead. Go for ~187 psi of torque and 2350 rpm, which should occur around 46" MAP, and adjust your pitch to maintain 170 knots. (You can also use the Notepad settings as well, which I think are 2550, 198 lbs, and max 51".) In either case, you'll still want to shoot for a climb speed. I don't think anybody actually knows the Vx and Vy numbers for this airplane precisely, but 160 kts is a good guess for Vx and 170 is a good guess for Vy, your best rate of climb. Stick to the 170 knots for an economy climb and you will be operating the simulated aircraft very close to how the real thing was flown.
For cruise, plan on 2100rpm,158 torque and adjust those numbers to get about 185 knots indicated. You should see just under 1000 lbs/hour from each engine during cruise in Auto Lean.