I'm really happy with the 4BF merino. Not only is it lovely to work with, but I'm about two-thirds of the way down the first leg, and still on the first 100g ball. There isn't a contrast waistband, either, it's all done in this colourway.
Two of my short row spots have obvious holes and I'm not sure why. I don't think I did them any differently from the others. I also noticed if I do an 'm1' increase I get a hole but 'kfb' is farrrrr less noticeable. It's probably just my technique.