I got around at least half of your problem by replacing the rear shock with a block of wood once. Worked well. Takes a while to get back into cycling but once you're in, you wonder why it ever was! Poor workman blames his tools!! You'll get used to it. Something I learned from 18 months on the road living out of a backpack or in an old VW van was to make do and mend and how flexible the human body (and moreover, mind) is. I went shopping with my sister for some trainers to do jogging in, to replace my knackered old ones that have a hole in the bottom. She kept insisting that I go for all this expensive high-tech bollocks. I said look, if I can run five miles in these old holey ones, I can run ten in a new pair of those cheap ones and I won't look like a chav either. Both are probably better than Roger Bannister wore when he did the four minute mile. The rest is marketing!
Our decadent Western lifestyle leads us to believe we need X and Y to achieve Z. What a prat I felt in my knock-off North Face in the Himalayas when the local Sherpas were up at 3000m in the snow with 50kg of live chickens in a cage strapped to their back walking in flip- flops.