There were indeed rubber spacers for the bezel, and thankfully the rust bleed came from the back o the bezel. The paintwork will clean up nicely. Here's a pic I took last weekend, when I pulled it off to inspect:Just saw this thread.
Good pix of the brakes. I had a lining fall off my rear brakes the last time I pulled the drum - and I last did the brakes in the 1990s. I guess nothing is forever. I think glued-on linings are lame for this reason, but no one seems to rivet them anymore.
I think you have a very solid start to a truck you can get closer back to stock. I noticed rust bleeding from under the chrome bezel, which (after you paint it) should be mounted on rubber standoffs (you can purchase them or use 1/2" pieces of 3/8" fuel line). These spacers will prevent the bezel from rubbing the paint off the front panel. The factory provided thick rubber grommets which are still available in the aftermarket, or possibly at the dealer.
If you decide to dechrome, you can remove the chrome bits, have them sandblasted, and then have a paint shop mix up a quart of custom paint for you that matches. You can then prime and spray those bits and re-use them, unless you find a chrome-nut who wants chromed things. For small things, a PreVal sprayer can work pretty well, although you then have to clearcoat after the color coat.
And whatever else you do, rustproof the bottom of that truck with a grease product (not tar) and don't drive it in salty blizzards