My 87 300D is a little cranky on cold starts, too. If I wait 15 sec or so after the glowplug indicator goes off, it starts much better with no misses and very little white smoke.
I'd try running the glowplugs a while after the indicator light goes out and see if that improves things.
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!