they did have some signal strength problems as compared to other operations to nearby entities who went the SVDA route.
Signals were pretty good here in Colorado on all bands. Yes, I know...what a difference a thousand or 1500 miles makes. I understand your frustration with 160m where timing is everything. I was lucky that they decided to show on 160 (and 80 too, actually) just before my sunrise. I really didn't have any greyline enhancement, but at least it was still dark here.
10m was another thing altogether. The signals were all over the place, depending on the A and K indexes. The day I worked them on 10 they were extremely weak, but the excellent operator picked out my call OK. Those that say you don't need an amp on 10 don't operate there enough! That may be true when conditions are good, but sometimes you need to just brute force it through. By contrast, on the previous day the 10m RTTY signal was S9. Interestingly enough the day I worked them on 20m, of all bands, they were right down in the mud. Again, disturbed conditions. And it apparently wasn't just me, as they were calling repeated CQs and having trouble starting a run.
Of all my QSOs, I needed the amp on 160, 80, 20 and 10. They were worked easily with 100w on all other frequencies. I even made a QRP QSO on 17m. They were crushingly loud on 30m, S9 +20 db. All in all, I thought it was a great effort and I had no problem working them anywhere I wanted.
Just for the record, my antennas are pretty simple; a 3L tribander for 10-15-20 @ 70', a 3L tribander for 12-17-30 @ 60' and a HyGain HyTower for 40-80-160. On 160, the HyTower is configured as a trapped inverted L. No special RX antennas on 160.