I see no problems with the approach that you have, in fact you might find using VeSys 2.0 v2011.1 easier to work with since you can use the copy ([CTRL]+[C]) command followed by paste extended ([CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[V]) between the sheets to create new instances, doing this will remove the need to later "merge" since you can create duplicate diagrams of the same connectivity all from one action.
As for the performance, are you working with hardware that meets the minimum system requirements for VeSys 2.0 (you can download this from SupportNet), in general I think if you have the minumum requirements then VeSys 2.0 Design should perform well even for designs of that size (many customers actually have much larger designs, so 21 sheets is not a problem).
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I have sucessfully included multiple instances of wires, connectors and devices in VeSys 2.0 v2011.1 designs. The instances are Cross-referenced so you can easily jump from one to the other.
Regarding your stability question. I work with vehicle design projects that typically include 1500 - 2000 wire segments split between 15 - 20 harnesses. The project designs typically run between 50 - 75 diagrams (sheets). While there is some latency with larger designs, I have not experienced any stability problems or loss of data with multiple sycronizations to larger harnesses. I have experienced some memory related issues when running design reports on the entire project. This was resolved by allocating more memory on VeSys startup.
Hope this helps,