I take the Hinz protocol which includes Mucuna. I take 7 tsps. per day of a 40% strength in divided doses. That is 6120 mg of levodopa. I take it with or without food. For example, I throw it in a blender in the morning with a lot of other things. I didn't have results til I reached this high dose. An advantage of this protocol is that you can take as much as needed to do the job.
I don't have sudden ons or offs. I am consistently on. Dr. Hinz, who is monitoring over 600 of us at the moment, says it is because I take the right amount of l-tyrosine, in my case 15,000 mg per day. I also take 5-HTP to get the right amount of serotonin which is depleted by dopamine (and vice versa). Serotonin depletion is responsible for the problems associated with levodopa therapy, especially at high doses. No side effects, no dyskinesias, and he says no progression, either. I don't know if that's true, though, at least not yet. L-Cysteine is also taken for this.
These amounts and ratios are derived from regular urine tests that gauge the function of the OCT gates in the kidneys that mirror the brain. It can take a few months to get the right doses and ratios. You can find out more about it at http://www.neurosciencemyths.com/
I have never taken Sinemet or dopamine agonists so I can't compare but for me this protocol has made me near normal.