Responding where I can possibly help:
I have not tried the Trail Designs 'inferno' setup, but it looks interesting. From comparisons on the web the 'inferno' may need more care to avoid bushfire risk, and with required stakes it may be heavier than the BBU? (I don't usually want to pull my tarp down before cooking.) Overall it looks like another great design: http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/bushbuddy-vs-ti-tri-caldera-cone.html
Yes, a few pieces are needed for improved stove function, but they are very light. Similarly I carry 4 Ti stakes as 'extra pieces' that improve the function of my tarp. I agree it is a personal call.
The lightest 'bowls' I have found are yoghut or margarine containers at 12-15 g for 450 ml capacity. I use them every day for presoaking dehydrated foods, eating one course while cooking another, dipping water from shallow 'trickles' etc. In the past I experimented with carrying foil shields other ways (e.g. between pack wall and pad). But the shield for a wood or hexamine stove gets sooty, so rolled inside the pot / bowl worked best for me.
The shield could be made shorter to fit inside the BBU. A shorter version would still work to block wind, but it would not be quite as efficient at directing heat up around the pot; and it could not provide the pot support for the fall-back hexamine stove use. Another personal call.
The fan mod may appeal most to people who like to hike without carried fuel, and already carry batteries in something like a GPSr. Where it is hard to find dry kindling, the 22 g fan setup is 'worth its weight in gold'.
On T-LUD and conventional operation: as Miguel describes the BBU is normally started in T-LUD mode (lit on top, and burning down through the fuel load). But if more fuel is needed (without a complete restart of the process), it can only be added on top. You can add the same kinds of fuel used in the original load (sticks broken to fit in the BBU fire chamber). When fuel is added on top of the existing fire, the stove works in a 'conventional' wood-gassifier mode. The wood gas from this added fuel is not 'improved' by passage through a glowing charcoal layer, but it is still burned using oxygen from the upper 'secondary' (pre-heated) air inlets.
I hope that helps without a movie!