On the other hand, I find that many Catholics take a very strange approach to a fellow Catholic who, let's say, doesn't believe in Papal Infallibility or what have you. Namely, they won't say that such a person should be excommunicated, but they will try to provoke him or her into leaving. E.g. "Why would you want to stay in full communion with us if you believe we are wrong?"
Isn't it so that if you don't believe in Papal Infallibility as a RC you've already excommunicated yourself or something?
I don't think so. My reading of Catholic canon law is that the Pope can excommunicate a Catholic who doesn't believe in papal infallibility (or UOJ, IC, etc) but that he isn't obliged to.
Though you'd have to check with a Latin canon lawyer, the case of "automatic excommunication" in Cyrillic's post doesn't seem to apply just to someone who holds a certain opinion in the Latin church (otherwise, there'd be a lot of automatically excommunicated Latins running around). That being said, of course, any bishop can excommunicate someone.
And the theology behind "papal infallibility" is actually far more complex than "you must believe the Pope is infallible in faith and morals or else". Pastor Aeternus took place in the context of a move to turn the Catholic Church in France and western Europe into state churches - more like the Anglicans or Lutheran churches in terms of their relation with Rome (the wikipedia entry on Gallicanism is surprisingly good on this). That means essentially local and even civil authority trumps universal authority and tradition. The pope's infallibility is tied to and not separate from the infallibility of the church. Some would argue that current organization and ultramontane trends (in reaction to gallicanism) exaggerate the importance of the papacy. [Father Robert Taft seems to be one. Father Herman Pottmeyer, one of the leading scholars of this, seems to argue it as well. The synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church also, for all intents and purposes, has upheld such a position too]
What do Eastern Catholics who disbelieve in papal infallibility think about the Orthodox? That it wasn't worth schisming over, that the schism was actually about politics, that the branch-theory-sans-Anglicans is true?
Speaking personally, I'd say the the key issue, today, is ecclesiological: what is the role of the "universal church" and the "local churches" as well as the individual church (i.e. bishop and flock). This is a serious issue, is something that the Orthodox have many opinions on, and which has been difficult in Catholicism (the Melkite church's relationship with Rome is a case in point).
I think the majority of the evidence from pre-schism times on how this was implemented has been mined and published. What it means, how this is to be implemented (and even if what worked before sould be normative) is a much more difficult issue, though the implications of the evidence do not always fit the various preconceptions of all sides. I also think that the Gregorian reform movement massively overreached (in a way even Pastor Aeternus, as "bad" as some people think it is, never did), causing the schism, and that the current structure of Rome and the papacy is open to a wide amount of reasonable change. I've also heard from both Metropolitans Kallistos of Diokleia and Hilarion of Volokolamsk that there's no consensus on Orthodox side for the eccelesiological issue, beyond that Rome's model is (understandably) unacceptable and that the current structure of Orthodoxy is not ideal.
Personally, I think the only way this ecclesiological issue can be "solved" is by a historicaly-informed consensus between Rome and the Orthodox (once the Orthodox come into some sort of an agreement). I think such a thing is possible, but it won't happen in my lifetime. I also think that, institutionally, the Byzantine-rite Eastern Catholic churches are way too hung up on these issues and would better devote their attention to their tradition and to local pastoral work.
You're in my prayers. I hope you find what's right, but be advised to be sure that wherever you end up, that you can actually live there. IMO, pastoral issues trump universal ecclesiological positions in parish/jurisdiction selection.