Great answers, I'm really glad I asked.
Re: hip flick. There's two sections of road where the downhill hip-flick issue came up (one of them again today) so actually both of your suggestions apply. One of them is downhill right hander that quickly leads to a downhill decreasing radius left, and for that one hanging off/less lean is more important. Whereas the other is a series of downhill esses that are just curvy enough to be actual turns. I think your suggestion about just locking in will work nicely, as they're faster turns and precision is more important than leaning. I really appreciate you giving a thorough answer that covered both scenarios.
Re: pivot. I went out today to practice more on the pivot steering technique (God bless vacation time and southern california canyon roads), and I saw that part of my problem is that I was also pushing down and forward on the inside bar instead of just forward. It seems like that undoes some of the benefits of doing the pivot steering technique the pushing force wasn't "clean" across my body, if that makes sense. Funny how a little thing like that can make such a big difference. I'm going out tomorrow to practice further (again, god bless vacation time) and I'll give it another whirl. And it is helpful to know that it doesn't make a difference about peg pressure or tank pressure--it's good to have one less thing to think about.
And about level 3 being physical--holy understatement batman! A friend of mine did Level 3 when I was doing Level 2, and I saw him get off the track early by the fourth drill because he said he was getting tired and starting to make little mistakes. Being an "in shape" guy, I thought there's no way that would happen to me when I did level 3. And yet a couple months later guess who was ready to get off the track early by the fourth drill? ;-) When I do level 4 I'm going to request to do Attack Angles over again, because I was too tired to really get it the first time! Thanks again for the answers, and good luck taking the CSS train back east!