"Question: if the compression is lowered to accommodate practicality do I not lose horse power in the process."
Yes, and no. If all you did was lower the compression then yes you would lose some HP. Now the question would be did you lose the HP due to the lowered compression or a camshaft grind that no longer suits the lowered compression?
That said, the engine built with the lowered compression and "correct" camshaft will not lose HP, but you then benefit by being able to use pump gas anywhere you travel.
The key to getting good HP will be having the "squish" area (the space between the top of your piston and the head) somewhere in the .040" -.045" clearance depending on type of piston/connecting rod material used. Some will "zero deck" the block, but I am not a fan of cutting the block down .020" and then being able to use the .040" head gasket to get your clearance. I'd rather not cut my block if only to square/resurface it a minimal amount. Cut it .020" and if you rebuild it again later and it needs to be cut, you may have a problem.
On my 455 build I went with a Cometic .027" gasket with my pistons .020" down in the hole. Gets me a .047" squish, but forged pistons/rods are going to expand and I plan on a small shot of nitrous (which generates more heat) so the .047" should be right where I want to be.
Cometic gaskets are not cheap at $100 each whereas you can zero deck your block and use an inexpensive (and good) Felpro head gasket, but I just rather not cut a block if not necessary.
Next big decision is the camshaft specs and grind. The compression will ultimately determine your Lobe Separation Angle(LSA), 110, 112, 114. Of course many other factors come into play, but this selection is key. This has been covered before here on the forums. Get a feel for some of the engine&camshaft questions/replies. Lot of info to absorb and then do your own research or inquiry.
If you need a machine shop in Wisconsin, contact "Grumpy" on his facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grump...3261937?ref=hl
Check out the '64 Lemans 326CI he recently assembled. He can give you the name of the shop that assembled his engine. He can also be contacted through our forums as his member name is Grumpy
. Use my name and tell him I recommended you contact him about your engine. Begin there and see what you come up with. Then hit us with questions.