Scott, you and Sam have already 'discovered' the single modification that gets you the most "bang for your buck" (aka biggest increase in efficiency / ease of use for the amount of manufacturing effort) in homemade woodstoves... raising the floor so that air can freely flow into and up from your burn area.
I, too, really want to get a bushbuddy (and, according to my wife I NEED to as I don't "spoil" myself nearly as much as my income should allow... I took my knocks in college and wound up as an engineer... but now I'm straying way too far off topic...).
However, I work with a boyscout troop and try to teach and display for them DIY gear in order to save $$ and weight. I already arranged (along with one of the other leaders, who worked at a place that had a automated plasma cutter) to "make" each of them a nimblewill nomad, but now am leaning towards the can stoves (it's been fun to see them emulate and sometimes forget important concerns of design... which then becomes another teaching poitn).
Anyhow, I suspect you are going to get some good use out of that penny stove. One thing I might suggest adding (it's on penny's instructions) is a cut up peach can as a windblock / screen. It'll improve the performance of your stove without much weight penalty (you could also use aluminum something or other, but you trade some robustness for some weight), and it'll be about the perfect height.