This thread might be of some help: http://www.buildyourownclone.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=30938
Since you have amplified noise on the output, the boost section is likely working. You probably have signal blockage somewhere between the input and the transistor. Don't overlook your input jack wiring; common wiring mistakes happen there.
The voltage drop you describe across C3 is correct; that cap blocks DC voltage and keeps it off the pot. In audio circuits, when you have DC voltage on a pot that is carrying signal, you get a scratching sound when you turn the pot. So output cap C3 keeps the DC off the pot.