Thank you so much for the quick responses!
As I feared... it seems like I'm gonna have to do it manually.
I'm so surprised by the lack of metadata standardization across sources and publishing houses. With the resent proliferation of e-readers and places to buy the books themselves, it would seem like companies/publishers would want to get together and agree on some sort of standard; if not for consumer benefit, then perhaps to ease their own process of book conversion to various formats.
I'll probably use the "published date" as my main tool to ensure correct chronology. I'm gonna try to find the best source of that info from the list of "metadata sources" and turn off that option on all the others. And then, of course, check it manually... (seems doable, no?)
Any suggestions on the best source of "published date"? I'm thinking Amazon, since it sells different editions and must differentiate them somehow...