How do I create a std bulleted paragraph in Writer (4.4) using Styles+Fmtng, w/o all the inconsistencies?

When I try to create a simple bulleted paragraph as a Custom Style in Writer, I encounter inconsistencies.

I’d like to know if my Style settings are perhaps being overridden by any manual settings applied to a pgf, using menu Format > Pgf, or using Format > Bullets+Numbering. I’ve also found that, after asking for a bullet, the dialolgs list a Numbering Style such as WW8Num4. What do all these styles mean? When I attempt to change this to the more intuitive None, every bulleted pgf in the document gets wiped out.

Intuitively, I should be able to create a bulleted pgf by specifying Before: 0.15 and First: - 0.15. No tabs should be needed. Am I incorrect? Are tabs mandatory? In any case, I’ve tried many combinations, and I still find some paragraphs in which the first and next lines do not line up. Or pgfs in which the indenting disagrees with the ruler’s tab stops. Can anyone tell me if Custom Styles is really an unsupported flow?

I’d like to see it fully supported, for purposes of writing technical papers or documents that require standard pgfs and chars. IMHO, the existing Sidebar is completely inadequate and painfully slow. I’d prefer to access Styles+Fmtting from a drop-down list that I can include in my custom toolbar. Thanks!