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On instrument, usually FluidR3 to start with, but sometimes I change it to none after having set the track to my zynaddsubfx bus.

Pgm Change is indeed usually first, but I can find at least one track where it is not first, but it is only preceded by bank selects (which this track has been my most problematic track, and it has a slew of other 'Controller' events that are exactly what has been causing other strange behavior).

I think leaving the event viewer open when importing midi for the first time is very important as not only Pgm Changes, but many other Controller events can induce odd behavior (obviously the bank select is a major one to look for).

Also, of note, it is very easy to forget to save the midi track itself while editing, and save in the main window, and quit without saving the midi track changes, re-open and the midi will still have 'Pgm Changes' you thought you just deleted. Combine that with a controller bank select or two and you might think you are going crazy!