ultimately i'm trying to address two issues: 1 stringing and 2 uneven layer stacking. i did several prints of a little rectangle with 2 circular posts (about 1/8in diameter, 1.25in tall).
i ended up printing this "stringing test" object and getting darn good results not only with stringing but also with layer stacking! 200C temp, 6mm of retraction. 45mm/s print speed and the variable layer speed set to 50% for layers under 15 seconds.
then i printed a calibration cube. it didn't turn out so well. so what i'm thinking is, that 200C temp might be too low for other models since the walls print faster in comparison to the post walls (they printed much slower because very short layer time whereas the cal cube walls are much longer and therefor the speed is not decreased as much).
so what i think i'll do next is try a higher temperature, 205 and then back up to 210.
what i'm finding out, is that your temps and probably extrusion multiplier should really change depending on the size of the printed object or the small details (arm/fingers or Eiffel tower structurer).
i guess that's what the variable speed setting is based on the layer time.