I actually had similar problems with my lathe, which, along with the relative lack of benefit, is why I stopped using it. The first one I had started leaving light scratches at the perpiphery of all mys discs. I tried EVERYTHING (tightening/loosening the bolt, chaging belts and blades, varying the pressure with which I applied the blade), all to no avail. I then concluded that it must be my unit, so I swapped it out for a brand-new one. Same problem. That was when I stopped using it. And I haven't looked back. I'm getting most of the same benefits from treating the edges with my Jena or Liquid Rez and then doing the black-marker thing.
The Talisman is a no-brainer, IMO. It's considerably better than my old Furutech RD-2--and a lot easier to use--and what it does to the bass really has to be heard.
For $5, the Black Hole is another easy choice. To my amazement, it actually bested my $199 Marigo mat. But, like most tweaks, these CD mats are so system dependent, one person's success with them doesn't guarantee another's.
I SLIGHTLY prefer the Jena to the Liquid Rez--it brings out a little more texture and dimensionality in voices and instruments--but there are some SACDs (the pale-gold-tinted ones, not MFSLs) that the Jena causes severe splotching on. Those are the ones I use the Rez with. Honestly, at this level, it comes down to personal preference. You can't lose either way. Both are absolutely SOTA.
Believe me, I also had SERIOUS buyer's remorse when I first ordered the ion generator! But I got it on the condition that I could return it if I didn't like it. Suffice it to say, it's not going back. :)