BB rows are a great exercise, but not essential. I prefer db rows as well. As far as technique, I squeeze at the top and stretch the bottom portion. FYI - I do deadlifts, t-bar rows, and db rows for back.
I switched about a month ago from OHP to incline press. Progress was always slow, never adding any appreciable weight. Best OHP was 225, and 195x5. Seated db press seems to be a better movement for me as well. Setup? Whatever angle the bench is set at the gym. Looks to be between 60-80 degrees. Hand placement (for me) is same as flat bench.