I finally played this.
I achieved 103,000m on my fourth alteration, is this good?
Not really. You should be aiming for 10,300,000m.
Orbit for lazy bums: at 30 km, aim the vehicle at the horizon. It's not the most efficient method but it works. I've been playing around with my Big Lifter Mk VI for a while now. Trying to get 'er under control. I added a sixth fuel tank on my top stage and, despite the added fuel, I lost 200 m/s. I'm thinking of moving the top booster trio to the top stage--I didn't need it on the bottom stages to keep accelerating. Also, jettisoning the bottom stage naturally lightens me quite a bit.
Personal new speed record (using all stock parts): 5860.7 m/s. Easily improved upon, too (by removing the parachute.) Big Lifter Mk VI is a success. Now to find some payload.