I tend to feed with the tube on the ground and bring the leaves to it also. That way I can pick any sticks out too. Seems less tiring to me. I don't use a leaf rake though, I use a 24 inch aluminum landscape rake or an 18 inch garden rake if they're heavy and wet.
I don't understand what the problem is with you not being able to get the leaves in rows though. Just move them as a front rather than a pile and as someone said, throttle down a bit when you get near the curb. You can also adjust the angle of the discharge chute on your machine. Are you moving them as a pile and then trying to spread them back out or something?