The forks definitely make a dramatic visual improvement in addition to the huge suspension improvement.
Are you planning to keep the stock rear fender or go to something much lighter?
To my eye, the low rear end with the visually "heavy" rear fender & braces makes the bike look weighed down in back.
The 18" wheel will help for sure, as will the shocks.
I am a fan of Dual Sportsters too and will build one before long so I enjoy reading what others are doing.
Keep those pictures coming!