I like the idea of getting more 'on encounter' ICE. It can make a piece of ICE better throughout the game, when it would normally be relegated to its second phase, and, to balance, it would have a weaker first phase. I agree that it would make deck-building decisions muchless boring.
I don't think I can agree that a stronger first phase on ICE would strictly be a good thing. Pile too much of it together, and things could become oppressive for the runner real fast. It would depend just how strong this primary function of the ICE is, in the end.
Thanks for writing!