Before you go out and buy a new planer, get a Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector and hook it up to the one you have and see if that resolves the "gouging" issue (which we have concluded isn't actually gouging but "denting" from unejected chips). You're gonna need a DC no matter what anyway, and with a blade sharpening your issues could be behind you without dropping $600 on a new yellow banshee.
Ronn, I like that finishing method, but using danish oil rather that pure oil. Sand up to 320 or so first, then rub in the wet finish with 600, and wipe it back. Still an easy finish to repair, but the little bit of varnish in the danish oil feels smoother to me. Pure oil always feels tacky, in my opinion.