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I leave my pole cover permanently attached as a) I daren't take the risk of getting wet and b) I think it probably does make the tent a little more stable in wind.
I have fitted guy-line runners to the (door side) ends of the pole cover lines as this means I can easily slacken off and tighten the pole cover for pitching and striking camp.
You will get different points of view. Some people say you don't need the cover but should seam-seal the seam that the pole runs over. I'm not sure you have time for it to dry though!
I thread the pole through very gently, inch by inch. It has got easier, but I think that's because I'm gentler than I used to be.
Good luck with it. I pinched some modification ideas from http://blogpackinglight.wordpress.com/laser-comp-mods/