Hi Chris -- thanks for your question. While it is a specific HL DRC question, it was posted in a very general PCB community. I am going to move it to the appropriate Hyperlynx community where it will receive greater visibility (and likely response).
I/we have been using Hyp DRC for just over a year now (with the VX1 design flow). I am not familiar with "Analysis Control", so I cannot respond to that part of your question. However, especially with the ability to customize rules, we are finding HL-DRC very useful. I am in the SI/PI analysis domain, so I don't work with VX1 / Expedition other than to open a design container and export the files necessary for SI/PI analysis. Additionally, we are heavy users of ICX, Hyp PI, Hyp Linesim and Hyp Boardsim. We regularly migrate/move a lot of setup/configuration data between these tools. With the move within the Mentor tool suite away from ascii files and towards binary files Hyp DRC has become our go-to tool to write customized "migration" scripts to move the data amongst these tools. Now to your specific questions:
1) The default scripts we use most are "Net crossing gaps", "Vertical Reference Plane Change", and "Metal Island". Again our interest is SI and the first two become issues for return current discontinuities and subsequent crosstalk problems, and the second addresses potential EMI concerns. We also use a customized version of the Impedance rule to audit our RF nets. Since the RF nets do not otherwise get any SI analysis, this becomes one important audit that is otherwise a manual/visual check.
2) Since we perform a complete SI/PI analysis using ICX and/or Hyperlynx Boardsim/Linesim, we find many of the SI/PI rules within HL-DRC redundant and do not use them.
3) I am a big fan of HL-DRC (pro) - I like being able to write customized scripts to solve whatever problem is at hand. As mentioned before, this tool has helped solve the problem we were facing of sharing data between the various SI/PI tools by giving us access to the design (binary) information. To me, it is not so much what comes in/with HL-DRC that I like, but the fact that I can usually write something that makes HL-DRC do what I want. HL-DRC is not without its problems / limitations, as any tool will have. There are a number of features lacking, and some bug fixes that are promised in future releases.
4) We have customized a lot - we are embarking on a relatively new path of RF Integrity analysis. Our initial steps are a number of geometry based rules that analyze RF nets and the surrounding geometries checking for a number of items that have previously been done by manual inspection of the artwork. We have developed 8 new rules specific to RF nets. Overall, we've written around two dozen customized rules in our first year of use.
I'm not sure if I've fully answered your questions/concerns, but hopefully this you some indication of our use of HL-DRC and the value we place in it.
Wireless SI/PI/RFI Reliability
We use Hyp DRC for a few of its out of the box features. I have not seen any value in developing custom checks, even though every time our sales rep mentions the tool he pushes the fact we can customize . We primarily use the tool for EMI prevention checks, similar to how Ralph uses the tool. My guess is you will be in the same boat. The tool is well suited for nets over splits, plane edge, ref change and so on. Cross talk is better prevented in layout using parallelism rules, and followed up with detailed analysis in Hyperlyx if required. We don't bother with impedance checks or many vias or any of the PI checks as we use CES to set up routing and Hyp PI for real power checks.
I view this tool as a easy tool for PCB layout to self check the design for rule of thumb or good practice techniques. Then use SI and PI tools to determine if problems are real if the PCB designer cannot clean up the problems. Feel free to call me if you still have my contact info. I know this was posted in Feb, did you arrive at the same conclusions?