Down sides to the clip seem to be that you’ll get increased wear on the consumables because the clip is diverting a portion of power through the actual torch tip. I’m not concerned about it as consumables for my import cutter are incredibly cheap. But if you’ve got a machine that uses a pilot start already, you don’t need the clip. Honestly, if the electronics are shielded well enough, you may not need the clip, but only experimentation will tell.
With plasma cutting there is no shielding gas. It’s actually just dried and compressed air forced over an arc. It doesn’t generate nearly the heat that welding or flame cutting does, but I figured it may be worth addressing.
I like the idea of running the conduit all the way to the floor and maybe having a vertically sliding plasma table up and down the legs that you can slide down and put a print table on top of, or a milling vise. I’m planning on just clamping my milling work to the plasma cutting slats. Maybe that’s too much imagining though.