1) My LO loves his Avent pacifiers.
2) It does get better! I too have a strong letdown - and just a strong flow in general - and there were 2-3 weeks that were SO hard. LO was crying at every feed; he was obviously hungry but was struggling so much. I tried a bunch of the tips (like letting down into a cloth, pumping before putting LO on to nurse), but ultimately I think he just needed to get a little older. Now he handles it with no problem.
It got so frustrating that I seriously considered giving up BFing. But now I am SO glad that I didn't!!!