I've managed to achieve the first half: I can swipe and get it to set to the direction of the swipe (when you look at the capx this might make more sense :P).
But as soon as you enable 8 direction movement things become really buggy and it doesn't always detect the swipe.
I did use a different method prior to this capx, but if 2 instances of an object were on the screen when you were swiping both would follow the touch and this way resolved it (not to mention it took a lot less events).
Capx - https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17611007/touch%20issue.capx
Thanks for reading :)