This may be right. Perhaps it is worthwhile just looking at each econ card in a vacuum.
Yup. I believe the assumption is roughly equivalent to never discarding econ.
I don't know how the results change if you have a limited hand size. If you can think of a way to automate what to discard, and what not to discard, and how to count that WRT quality draw, I'm all ears. I don't have many good ideas there, unfortunately.
A good proposal. A question it raises is how to really take into account tempo considerations? Just fitting multiple 4 credit runs under the curve would yield a number of accesses, but I don't think this is accurate.
A similar way to look at it is to consider the parts of the deck that don't require corp interaction. These include econ, program/hardware installs, and dependencies between these installs (due to memory constraints, or simply program install ordering preferences). Once this is done, and the credits for the installs are taken into account, then how much money is left?
Given this new "quality credit" curve, then we can try and answer some of your questions, in a similar manner: how many 4 credit runs fit under this curve? How early can these runs be made, and how does that impact the rest of the system. The weakness of this is that it will ignore early-game opportunity, where you make early runs, to the detriment of program installs, and using more econ. Next, we can manually add these in, and see the impact.
Thanks for the ideas!