"7. ... Use discipline to say no to unnecessary desires. Consciously reduce one's thoughts about unnecessary desires.": From the context of the surrounding text, I guess you mean unnecessary desires which are not worth the prior or subsequent pain when fulfilled. With the necessary desires being easy to fulfill for me, I spend most of my effort on unnecessary desires which I expect to bring me the most pleasure (including permanent pleasure from memories of great experiences) for the least pain…
Cassius, I guess that in your statement above "Part of what we always dance around in coming up with formulas is the issue of whether the goal of avoiding pain is somehow entirely separate or more important than that of avoiding pleasure" you do not mean "avoiding pleasure" but rather finding pleasure.