Well, since you asked so nicely
First, you really shouldn’t underestimate Legwork’s impact. The comparison to Maker’s Eye isn’t completely representative - imagine the usefulness of Maker’s Eye, Nerve Agent and Legwork graphed out over time, as the game progresses.
- Maker’s Eye is a downward slope, as the game progresses and agendas move to HQ
- Nerve Agent is all over the place - early game it’s easiest to get tokens, but you’re not really all that likely to find so much. By the time you can reliably find stuff, the runs usually become too expensive to repeat multiple times per turn (barring some corner cases like a well-connected Escher, Battering-Ramming through multiple Elis and what have you),
- Legwork, on other hand, is just a steadily rising line. Unlike the other corporate IDs, CI just gets to hold all the agendas it draws. Late-game, it’s not uncommon for the agenda/non-agenda ratio in HQ to approach 1:1, so a Legwork run could easily be worth 4-5 points (and it’s virtually guaranteed to hit at least 2). This is much more than the average expectancy of both Maker’s Eye and Nerve Agent
Now, onto your other points:
Yes, Noise is a problem I feel. He can both keep you in the early game (if he draws a lot of Parasites/Recursion) and puts you on a timer. Random mills sniping off 3-pointers aren’t unheard-of, either (and they really, really hurt). You do have a ton of recursion, yes… but you actually need it for your primary game plan, so if you end up having to burn it to fix the trouble Noise causes, it gets overtaxed. Also, you really really hate Imp, as it’s a tool that threatens multiple servers (which means rez money, which means lower hand size and parasite vulnerability) and can take apart your carefully assembled combos in hand. Don’t count on Scorching Noise too much - you’ll need two to three Scorches, and both they and your econ cards will get trashed left and right. Also don’t forget that he’s easily a threat when not running (the solitaire versions of Noise).
I think NEH and BS are problematic for you because of the requirements they put on runner decks to be viable. NEH mandates early multi-access, BS mandates non-money ways of surviving multi-scorchings and efficient getting through large ICE pieces. Neither of these traits are really good news for you if you’re Scorched Imaging. They might not mean an auto-loss, but they sure as hell don’t help with the reliability and consistency of your primary game plan.
Scorched Imaging can still be viable, but you really need to pay a lot of attention to your ICE suite. That’s the biggest place for changes and tweaks currently (HB got some neat pieces lately).
I think CI is still very strong, but I’m getting the feeling that non-Scorch builds might be better currently. Here’s three variants I’ve been experimenting with lately:
- Neural EMP / Snare, to capitalize on the popularity of Legwork.
@bayushi_david’s Tricky Crisium Ice Wall version, for easier and cheaper fast-advance with no flatline threat
- Arthurian CI, because I still feel that Grail ICE is super strong in CI. What to do with the rest of the influence, I haven’t decided yet (there are several ways you can go with it).