Jun, thanks for the nifty definition of kuzushi - really clarifies the concept for me.
Having just spent a weekend at a seminar with Ikeda Sensei, I'm with Bryan - nage becomes the center of balance and technique is then possible.
Timing is an interesting question: What comes first, the connection or the kuzushi? My impression over the weekend was that the kuzushi needs to be part of the connection. Uke is trying to connect with nage's center and break balance, and nage has to re-direct before that connection occurs...
Interesting topic, and thought-provoking responses - thanks!