Having done Pimsleur for a few languages now (Spanish, German, and I'm on Level II lesson 28 of Japanese) I can attest to the addictive nature of the half hour verbal class - It's such fun.
But at the same time, the Pimsleur is limited in that you don't really get a lot of the structure, and no slang or everyday usage. Also, by the end of 45 hours of work, I find that I'm really only at a lower intermediate level if not upper basic once I move to other methods.
So I think you're doing the right thing, going up the JPOD tree: I could suggest jumping up to the Intermediate classes and doing each one 3-4 times: That would really force you to the next level. Also, as you hit the intermediates, the chatting in english goes WAY down - it's all Japanese, so you really begin to advance.
I haven't been able to find any other audio classes that weren't on the same level as Pimsleur or horrible horrible phrase-book based. I think JPOD is unique and probably your best bet.