I have persevered with the easy-walk harness and decided that I like them. We did have a bunny run across our path yesterday on our morning walk so I am willing to say that it does help with pulling (bunnies are definitely high distractions for both of my dogs).
Our training has been going well - we have a most awesome practice group that meets on the weekend to go through specific drills. I feel that I am really getting a lot out of it.
Susan Garrett's recallers 3.0 course is getting set to start up. This will be our third time in it and if possible I'm even more excited. Although I'm a little afraid to say it we seem to have turned a corner with tugging in our house and I think it's going to make a difference to how we do the games in the course.