You sound like my 'kindred spirit'! Uneven tension also bugs me!
You might like to read this article about Uneven Stockinette Fabric!
Here is another article I love! It is a PDF, so I hope you have Adobe Reader.
It's titled "On Your Way to the Masters-Tension Problems by Arenda Holladay".
I'm NOT on my way to the Master Knitter Certificate anymore than you are, but...this was a most enlightening article! I don't think it is ever too soon to be aware of what (any kind of) knitting stitches are supposed to look like.
You are obviously already aware of good-looking stitches as opposed
to hinky-looking stitches. You're my kind of gal!