Wow, what a difference a lube/oil/filter makes! The steering had gotten a little heavy and chunky over the course of 5 months/1400 miles, but it's light and smooth once again. I took my Maxx into the dealer last week after the gauges died! Seriously, I started the car, and the tach, fuel, and engine temp were flat at the bottom. I started driving, and the speedometer didn't move. A 3-mile commute didn't budge the odometer. That was really fun. I took it in (after the gauges came back to life, of course) and the service guys couldn't find any trouble codes stored, or any bulletins from GM about this type of problem. Which means I have a very special car. However, there were updates available for the BCM and PCM, so they installed those, maybe it'll help. The symptoms have not recurred, but I'm feeling that the warranty was a very wise purchase. I still love the ride, though.
P.S. Kurt -- no clue on the suspension travel.