Donna, Conair makes a rip off of the Denman brush thats just a few bucks. And now that you mention it, before I started with the Denman last year I was using a fine toothed comb, but make sure its fine toothed.
Re yer flat top issue: you know its cause your hair is so long and without layers. Have you tried drying upside down or to the sides? (I can't cause it gives me too much volume.) But in terms of this routine, the "brush out and away from the scalp" step is crucial for you.
Have you tried clipping for root lift? And (last question) any pics from when your hair was shorter like mine? I'm uber curious now
As for a video.... I'm considering it