OK, With much interest, I have read a great many posts by the order of the Knights Errant. I too am a wannabe 400 in 400 MDLM. I have to report that I ended up modifying the 7 circles. Instead of running through all 9 levels, I am doing each level 7 times before I move on to the next.
I did this because I realized I am tactically deficient... and needed to see 1-3 move tactics before guessing at the higher levels. I am also taking a slower pace to the quest. I "officially" began the circles in June of 2005. I am now on my second circle of level 60 problems and scoring horribly.
My rating since June however has modestly improved a couple hundred rating points as seen here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlTnmtHst.php?12471987
My question to the Knights, can I become an honorary member given I have a modified circle?