Don’t pull! Press through the string. I know you don’t mean actual pulling, which twangs the string and is ugly.
The best harps recently made at LH, to me, were the ones that were even and open, resonant and full bodied. Most of them were more buzzy overtoned, intimate and sort of nasal, a more French sound, you might say. I would get the largest harp you can, whichever model.
I prefer the plastic eyelets, if you can’t have ivory, there is something quite different with the brass that makes me uncomfortable, but if you are used to it, perhaps it is better, as the sound seems to come out more immediately. The 85s tend to be a little heavier sounding, to my ears.