A couple of tips about configuring AirPort with WDS bridging as you discussed.
- Internet Connect (in /Applications) will tell you the Base Station AirPort ID of the base station you are connected to - very useful for determining which base station you are connected to...
- AirPort Management Tools are a heaven send and I'm surprised Apple doesn't promote them better for these kinds of uses. You can get them at AirPort Support, there is a link in the right hand column to the "AirPort Management Tools" which will let you download them straight away. Included in this package are the Management Utility, and the Client Monitor.
The AirPort Management Utility will not only allow you to see the configurations of multiple base stations (and change them easily, en masse), it'll also query each base station for the clients that are attached to it and give service and noise graphs for those clients. Very useful for making sure your base stations are actually "seeing" each other. It will also allow you to query the base station for it's logging.
The AirPort Client Monitor can be run on a connected computer to give an idea of how good the service it is receiving is (similar to what you see in the Management Utility, but from a client perspective).