#2: Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Don't be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts. My personal theory is that younger readers distain most books - not because those readers are dumber than past readers, but because today's reader is smarter. Movies have made us very sophisticated about storytelling.
#3: Before you sit down to write a scene, mull it over in your mind and know the purpose of that scene. What earlier set-ups will this scene pay off? What will it set up for later scenes?
So do I follow Palahniuk's advice and trust that the reader is intelligent enough to both pick up on those hints and remember them at the end, when sense can be finally be made of them? My instinct is 'yes'. Maybe the solution isn't to cut the twist altogether, but to weave in more hints, so in the final pages the reader's reaction is "aha! now it all makes sense". I just need to find that fine line between the kind of gossamer foreshadowing that the reader brushes off like a cobweb strung between two lampposts, and sledgehammer foreshadowing that whacks the reader over the head until said twist becomes so obvious that they have a skull fracture.
Wish me luck.