Re: Problems with Hookah
I think your two problems are related - you are probably losing a lot of juice through the holes in the bottom, which can definitely kill some flavor. Pick up a Tangiers (my preference) or Vortex funnel bowl, which will keep all the juice in your bowl as you smoke. Also, better charcoal can help, you may be getting the taste of charcoal blocking out your flavor.
Lastly, clean everything thoroughly - I know that a hose with a taste, or rust/crud in the stem can kill flavor really quickly.
Hope it helps, keep us posted.