I feel your pain, Harry...but never give up - never surrender!
I, too, had the bail blues
I work on a Hot Head, and making bails was almost a guarantee for the demise of an otherwise nice pendant bead! So here's what I do:
1) I start with making a bail - a simple small "donut" (usually in clear) on a 3/16" mandrel, and park it (garaging, that is) inside my pre-heated kiln. I usually pre-heat the kiln to about 960, and hold it there. I have a bead door on my Paragon SC2BD, so this was pretty easy to do, making sure I leave enough of the mandrel sticking out to keep it handle-able and cool...
2) Then I make my pendant (frit type using a maria, implosion, etc.) OFF MANDREL. For these purposes I keep it on the rod or punty it with a clear rod that will be easy to flame cut.
3) Once I'm happy with the off-mandrel pendant creation, I keep the pendant heated in the back of the flame with one hand (still on the final rod or punty), and reach over and take the pre-made bail out of the kiln. I slowly re-warm the pre-made bail in the back of the flame, and get it back to a nice glow. All the while, I keep the pendant warm as well - it's a bit of a hand-over-hand magic act, but once you get the hang of it, not difficult at all.
4) Then I choose a spot on both the pendant and the mandreled donut bail, get the connection spots on both to a nice little glow and connect them. Hold them together to fuse, then move the pendant into the flame where I will then flame cut the rod or punty. Flame polish the spot where you cut the rod or removed the punty.
5) Once you have your pendant off the rod and onto the bail and flame polished, give your piece a nice heat bath to get the heat even, being careful not to overheat the connection spot or it might droop. It takes a little practice but you'll get the hang of it quickly I'm sure!
6) Once the piece is nicely warmed, pop it into the kiln and anneal.
Here's some example pieces using this technique - just to show this can be done even on a Hot Head:
SpongeBob's Pineapple House - which I did added little implosion to before garaging the bail:
Mario Bros. Little Wind-up Bomb:
Angry Birds Egg:
An Easter Basket:
Muppets and Oscar in a Trash Can:
A Thanksgiving Turkey:
As you can see, I use this technique a LOT! Maybe this will solve your problems...