well, we're not experts on cribs, as we don't have one, but DS (14mo) just moved into his own bed in his own room. we were waking him and exciting him in the night and we find that he sleeps much better in his own room. he also is a major kicker. i was often at the very edge of a joined queen and twin "monster mattress" so i get where you're coming from.
a few ideas: have you thought of a pack and play, as it's smaller and more restrictive than a crib? it sounds like your dd likes small cozy spaces.
you might also want to try taking the sheet that you'll use in the crib and sleeping with it or putting it between the two of you when you nurse so that she has a familiar smell in the crib.
you might also want to try some sort of "lovey," a la NCSS -- a tiny blanket, animal, etc.
i don't really have more ideas, but i wanted to let you know that i know where you're coming from with co-sleeping not working as planned. i think being open to both your own needs and those of your daughter are really the most loving things you can do/be.
Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!