I have had 3 nissan trucks, 87' (2.5" lift), 03' (1.5" lift) and now an 07' (3.5" lift). the 87' and 03' were nearly identical to each other in regards to front suspension and steering and probably what you observed. the Nissan IFS in the 1st Gens (pre 05') was nearly impossible to get any real good lift out of without heavy mods up front, of course you then put your drive shafts at a steep angle and wear out joints, not to mention the steering components. I think what they did in the 05'+ helped (coils in lieu of torsion bars), but I think their primary market was on road with occasional off road, IMO. fortunetly for the 05'+ Xterras and Frontiers the titan front suspension just bolts on (swap out drive shafts as well) and you gain (I think..) 2" more of travel (up and down?) with the longer arms and a better geometry for the drive shafts. IFS will always have its limits for travel, alignment and shaft geometry, at least on a stock set up. but it also has its advantages to a certain degree.
There are some guys in this forum (MCM) who probably know way more. please tune in.
Though I do not recall either the 87 or the 03 Arms being "near level" when they were stock. more like your lower picture at stock then twice as bad lifted.
here are a couple old pictures from my 87' with about 2.5" of lift, I got most of the camber out with alignment, but I woudl rotate often to keep wear as even as possible. note the picture from straight on that the passanger tire is on a slope.
07' 6sp Nismo, Titan Swap front with PRG uppers and remote res Sway aways, Deaver custom pack in the rear with 1.5" longer HD shackles, Hankook MT 285/75R16, Volant intake w/AirFlow Snork, Gibson Cat Back Exhaust, SuperChip, Otpima Red Top/Xpower dual battery set up, XM and GPS, KMA front bumper, Custom Sliders, Custom skid plates, custom rear bumper with tire carrier, Warn xd9000i hitch winch (front or back hook up), softtopper.