@ Beebop: My favorite curl creams are: CJ CCCC lite (low to med dews); CJ CCCC (high dews); and MD CSC. My favorite gelly is SS CEJ. My favorite gel is SS FHG, with CJ CQ in 2nd place, BRHG in 3rd place, and ABBA firm-hold gel in 4th place.
Explanation of my gel rankings: CQ gives me more hold than FHG, but it's too easy to overdo, resulting in stiff hair, so I prefer FHG. When I use CQ correctly, hair is softer/more touchable than with BRHG. ABBA gives me firm hold (like BRHG), but with softer hair than BRHG does. However, I can only use it in high dews (because it contains a lot of glycerin), so it's less versatile.
Because SS FHG is only a medium-hold gel rather than a hard-hold gel, it doesn't give me quite enough hold by itself used over a curl cream. (If I want to use just curl cream + gel, then I use either CQ or BRHG for my gel.) Consequently, I prefer using FHG in conjunction with CEJ to boost the hold. At the same time, curl cream + CEJ + FHG can be too producty for my hair. That is why I prefer leave-in + CEJ + FHG instead. Or just curl cream + CEJ + SOTC w/ MD product.
Try this latter option at some point - it might work better than you expect. Kathymack is the one who gave me the idea, and it worked great. I just couldn't figure out for the longest time how she could get away with using a gelly rather than a gel, and this has really made it possible for me.
My wave/curl pattern also gets weaker as the day goes on, except in summer when humidity keeps my curls perky, and I'm generally okay with that. If you want to boost your curl even more, however, you could try adding more protein to your routine. FHG contains some silk protein, but you could also try CJ CCCC lite mixed with a little CJ curl fix (one of DEL2C's favorite combos). Or you could use CJ Repair Me as your rinse-out (I use this once a week).
In answer to your other questions: I did use AOMM a while ago, and couldn't get it to work for me, but I might not have used it properly. I've also had good luck with BB's FSG, but ultimately found that SS CEJ worked for me more consistently. And UFDCM works very similarly to SS CEJ but I detest the scent; plus, it's more expensive than CEJ.
In terms of amounts, 1 full pump of CEJ yields 1 flat quarter-size amount of product. I use 3 pumps altogether, so 3 quarter-size amounts in total (one for each side, and one for the back of my hair).
@ rbb: Marie Dean does tend to overdo scents in her products. Initially, she made the CSC with a caramel-scent, and by the end of day 1, I was tired of it. By the end of day 2, I couldn't wait to wash my hair. I then switched to the mango pudding plus for a while, and intended to order the CSC in unscented. However, she sent me a sample of the CSC in a new scent, which I think was the raspberry vanilla, and it was fine. The good news is that once any of her products have been sitting on your shelf for a few months, the intensity of the scent is substantially reduced. So if you can't bear it now, just put it to the side for a while and try it again in the summer.