I've hiked most of these places, and I highly recommend Scott's suggestion of the MST from Craggy Gardens to Beacon Heights. I did this section as part of a larger hike on the MST and it is supreme. You will not have to worry about avoiding the BRP camping restriction along that portion of the MST. Yes, it does have some portions on the BRP, but it would primarily be at the beginning of day 1 and the ending of your final day - you can easily time your route to avoid this problem. I would probably start at Balsam Gap though, since the area between Craggy Gardens and Balsam Gap is not overly spectacular by any means.
I did a couple of stealth camps in the BRP in a pinch with no problems since most of the trail is pretty empty. Yes, it is discouraged (possibly illegal?), but I wouldn't recommend it anyway since you are mostly on a ridgeline and finding a flat spot to camp is very difficult. Regardless, you shouldn't have to worry about this along this section.
If you are interested in doing this route, check out www.artshikingmaps.info for good, free, detailed maps of the route. The sections Scott suggests are 9-12.
The Wilson/Harper/Upper and Steels creek area on its own is amazing. I do a ton of dayhiking in that area and I never tire of it. Add to it Mt. Mitchell, Shortoff/Table Rock, and the Linville Gorge and its tough to beat those ~90 miles anywhere in NC. I should add that there is a fair amount of road-walking (gravel)involved in this section, but it is a bit of a relief at times since much of the rest of the trail is pretty rugged.