^ You said ALL opinions so here's MHO.
1) It is better to control torque through DS just because it takes hub torsional stiffness out of the equation. However most hubs will handle it easily. The ones to watch out for are very light ones with thin walls and ones that are composite with carbon barrels and aluminium flanges, that sort of thing. The other thing to consider is that NDS flanges tend to be small and bigger is better. That said I believe I read here that someone has laced a BHS hub that way and they have small NDS flanges. I don't know how successful it was.
2) Bracing angle affects wheel stiffness enormously. However right side flange distance is a function of the 130 hub spacing and the cassette width so they don't vary much from the extremes of 16.5 to 19.5. You wont fit an 11 speed to anything over ~18. I put one on a Dati recently. It was 19mm but I had to shim it.
So the right flange is closely spaced and you cant do anything about that but the left flange can be anything from ~30 to ~50. The wider the spacing the lower the NDS spoke tension. If you have insufficient spoke tension the spokes may completely detension as they pass around the bottom of the wheel. This condition aggravates fatigue and spokes will brake early. What an acceptable minimum tension is I cant tell you, but it depends on all those things that effect spoke stretching including all up wheel load, number of spokes, gauge of spokes, rim stiffness. If you lace a wheel 16:8 (triplets) you can get the best out of wide NDS flange spacing with just about even spoke tensions on all 24 spokes. (24 is the only non proprietary number that is a multiple of 3). If you need more spokes than 24 then you should look for the narrowest flange spacing consistent with acceptable minimum lateral stiffness, and choose a rim that can take the tension required on the DS to keep the NDS tension above minimum.
3) Different crossing numbers have a small but insignificant effect on lateral stiffness. However if the choice is between any crossing and no crossings the difference is small but significant. Its about the same as half the difference between radial lacing heads in or radial lacing heads out. You could run some numbers through a spoke calculator to get a feel for it. As far as torque effects are concerned the closer the spokes are to tangential to the flange the better. Conventional wisdom says that for 12 spokes 2x is best, for 14 2x or 3x, and for 16 3x. 1x is unnecessarily stressful on rims and flanges if its transferring torque. Whether or not it gives a squishy response I don't know.
With respect to the above, that is just how I understand it. I think there are many wheels being built today that wont last the distance because NDS spoke tension is insufficient or the DS tension is too great but I don't have definitive info . Come back in 12 months and ask how all the Stans 340 wheels are faring. I expect a mixed bag of cracks around nipple holes and broken NDS spokes but as I said I don't really know.
Hi BobSantini, thanks so much, that is terrific info, and if I may ask a couple more questions ...
With a triplet would you do a 3xDS, 1xNDS or 3xDS, Radial NDS ... and do you like this build compared to a traditional build re lateral stiffness, wheel elasticity, wheel strength?
If you were doing a 32H build would you consider lacing it 4xDS, 2xNDS. The reason I ask is because apparently this lacing allows for the DS/NDS spoke tensions to be equal (or very close to it) and is very strong but with some weight penalty ... do you know if this is correct?
Also, some are doing conventional builds, with conventional hubs, for 24H/28H with Radial DS, 2x/3x NDS and using the bracing angle on the NDS to control torque effects ... does that seem reasonable.