I'm just jumping in here, haven't followe the entire thread. There's many PDF tools out there, for .NET and such, but it's a jungle. I want to promote PDFSharp (pdfsharp.net), It's an free .net library for PDF manipulation. There's vast documentation and a active forum where the author himself is active.
I'm using this component in a current project where I create PDF's from scratch based on input from my database