WOW! What a high compliment and honor to be put in Rudee's company!
I would kill for curls like hers!
Diffusing is important for me no matter what method or products I'm using. My hair stays too flat to my head if I air dry, which I don't like because I'm different from Rudee in that I like a lot of volume and I don't get it with air drying. I'm also not as curly as Rudee so I need the diffuser to boost my curls a little bit. Anothe reason is my hair is also very thick so it would take hours to dry if I didn't diffuse.
I haven't found that I lose any products when my hair is soaking wet. I tend to be a little heavy handed, though, so that could be part of the reason. I find it distributes better and maybe there is some dilution involved - it really does clump better and helps soften up crunch from product. Since I like volume, the more I experiment with this method I'm finding that I'm happier with my hair when I don't soak it very much. The amount of water in my hair when I come right out of the shower seems to be the right amount for me. I still get a lot of clumping and spiraling, but not so much that it takes away from the volume. I've just been adding a little water to areas that I can see need it and so far this seems to be working the best for me.
I also use the T3 dryer with the companion diffuser.