Regarding the Time of Day issue I have don a lot of testing, but the only thing I can test against is DAY and NIGHT so this does not help much.
Yes - I've looked at this before. Those are the only two values accepted by that rule, and I believe it's even case sensitive. You can find it in the code, I forget where, but I remember it is obvious.
There is no way to make rules that say things like "if it is before sunrise" or "if it is before 8am" - I looked pretty hard over the summer. I wanted my projector to automatically adjust the light level based on sunrise and sunset. The DAY/NIGHT worked ok, but only supplied 2 light-level modes when I wanted 3 or 4. I triggered on "Watching Media", which was ok so long as you didn't watch a long movie that started when it was light out, and finished after it was dark. Now the projector is in a basement, so I don't care as much
It seems like you're getting pretty deep into the rules. It would be great if you put some of your knowledge into Wiki pages. I don't remember there being much documentation on this stuff, and it is ridiculously powerful if you can figure it out... problem is, that takes a lot of code reading right now.