Arsheesh, thanks for all the suggestions. I'm grateful for the help. You're right, I hadn't added the drop shadow for the individual trees. This was due to the fact that the area in the screen shot was only one small part of the map and I had wanted to get individual trees setup around all the forests before adding the drop shadow. As for that stark white line on the northeast edge you mentioned, I've found that it is generated during the trees bump map step. I had changed the azimuth angle to 35 so the shadows of the trees would match those of the mountains. Doing this caused this white line to appear. I was able to mitigate it some by boosting the elevation to 40. The line is still there but somewhat subdued. I also found that compensating for darkening helped.
I still haven't managed to get my forests looking quite like yours. I think that part of this is due to the scale difference. Your examples in post #9 are 1,134px × 1,074px while my map is 2400 × 3200 pixels. I think this has an effect of how detailed the cloud render is. I'm not really sure, as all this is new to me, but it seems that the smaller the map the more granular the clouds are; while you may zoom out on the topography layer the cloud layer doesn't change hence the forests smooth out. I'm not sure I've explained that at all well.
I did a fair amount of experimenting with different settings for generating the cloud noise layers. I even tried the Felimage Noise plugin. I think that Felimge Noise has some potential here, at least on larger maps. I need to experiment more with the settings though to generate a better understanding of how to create a more three-dimensional appearance to the forests contours as you've managed to do.
In order to integrate the forests with my map a bit better I changed the colors around some. This had the effect of no longer matching the colors of the individual trees very well. So, while the shape effect that the individual trees has helped, the color difference takes away from that some. I think I need to figure out how to generate those individual tree patterns. Any suggestions?
Here's may latest generation doing my best to incorporate your suggestions: