Say I import a project and I re link all the missing footage...then I need to re import that same project again...but in the 2nd import everything is missing again. can I somehow link all the missing footage to its found counterpart from the 1st imported project? At the very least I would like to delete all but 1 copies of the same footage ..that would be nice
You could try Dependencies > Consolidate All Footage. I'd be curious to see if that works after you've already re-linked one set of media.
If you're able to preserve the relative folder structure of media on disk when you relink it, you should only have to relink the first one and Ae should find the rest automatically. Is that not working right for you?