I have not done deadlift in quite some time but quick question - your knees are supposed to remain locked out aren't they? You're generating lift with your hamstrings, glutes and stability in your lower back right? I have seen a handful of people at the gym deadlifting and some are, to various degrees, bending their knees on the up stroke. I always thought you were supposed to remain locked out at the knee.
I love pullups - with 4 or 5 different grips you can accomplish a stellar entire upper body workout. Some gyms have assisted pullup machines that reduce the amount of your body weight you have to lift on the 'pull' to help a person get to the point of being able to do 1. When I first started training for the Marine Corps PFT, I remember the training curve for pullups being very steep. It took me about a month to go from doing 1 to 3, but then only about another 6 weeks to go from 3 to 17 or so.
Then, once again, it took another awhile, i'd say 2 months or so, to get from 17 to 20. I had to do 7 or 8 sets of 12, pushing up to 7 sets of 16, a day, to get up to 20. I plateaued at 20 for awhile until I started doing crossfit, then I managed to break to 22-23. Then I was stuck there until I picked up the weighted pullup training, after about 6mo of that, I got as high as 35. I lost that though when I changed gyms and lost the ankle weights.