Sounds good Jaymie. I think these improvements will help ease the learning curve. It's obvious why a port won't take a wire when you know/remember about datatypes but not when you're still messing around trying to learn the basics in Vuo.
That sounds like a different issue. Since the nodes cause CPU load to go down and events to be dropped, the bottleneck now is probably the GPU.
You could try the image filters one at a time to see which one is affecting performance the most. I'd guess the Blur with radius 16. If so, you could use Resize Image to reduce the amount of work that Blur has to do.
We're working on some usability improvements for generic ports in Vuo 1.3, particularly the process involved in changing from one data type to another. I think they might solve your problem, Alastair. I'm tabling this feature request, and we can reevaluate it if needed after the improvements.