You're exactly right on the scope placement! In fact, I now have the rule of thumb that you should have to almost squirm your head out like a turtle to get the full view in the scope. Reason is, when you're down in a solid rest, you've got the time, and when you're standing and shooting offhand, your face tends to ride a bit closer to the scope, anyway. I, for one, seem to have a natural scope-creep, anyhow, and I like to set the rear of the scope such that I pretty much can't creep up and smack myself. This creates confidence, so that I can concentrate on other things, like the shot.
For summer use, the Past (tm) recoil shield is awesome. Wearable by shooter.
Ideally, I like to shoot some in a like-firearm of a lesser caliber first. .22 or .257 Rbts before '06, .308 before .300 Win Mag, etc. The results improve remarkably. But for REAL improvement with this technique, try it with .22/.38/.44 mag! Just about as good is to shoot some Specials in your Mag, first.
Although there's still blast, the lighter pills will have less recoil in a given caliber, for practice purposes. One can certainly get the feel of his '06 with 130gr. loads at 3300, and then settle down to real work with his '06 in 150's, 165's or 180's.
To well-alleviate the blast, wear good facial protection, and good ear protection.
Shoot at reactive targets, or at least ones that are fun. This alleviates the strain and tension of simple target punching.
Shoot more. No, a little more than that.
Remember: it makes big noise, it moves around a bit, but it can't hurt you.
Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?