As far as the "cheater lens",i've been using them for 10 years now,my eyes started needing them when i turned 40.
The reason OSHA and manufacturers do not recommend using reading glasses behind a shield is the fact that most reading glasses are not impact resistant and are not Z87.1 standard,which means it has a polycarbonate impregnated in it to block 99.9 % of UV and IR rays.
Regular reading glasses magnifies everything with no protection.
As long as you an auto lens that is Z87.1 standard,plus the inside and outside clear lens of that standard,you will never get a flash even if it is in the clear state.
We are required to wear safety glasses 100% of the time we are on the jobsite that are Z87.1...i've wore just those clear safety glasses around others welding all day long while i was dragging deck on a building,bolting up,gunning up bolts,connecting..etc etc and never got a flash at all,but back when this wasn't required,we all would get flash here n there,so yes,these Z87.1 lens DOES work,i am a firm beleiver in it from personal expereince,not just here say.
Now a days about all auto lens hoods comes with a cheater lens adaptibility,if it doesnt have it,,duct tape works wonders..lol..you can get true Z87.1 cheater lens at any weld supply store or online for a few bucks a peice,well worth the small investment for you're eyes..
As far as hoods,,i have owned the HF type..it was "OK" but never could see clearly through it like the higher end hoods.
I gave mine to an Apprentice while working in WV building a power plant after i purchased my Jackson NexGen hood.
I know own that NexGen,the newer cheaper model of Speedglas,the 100v with the flame design,and a cheaper ArcOne Carrera for 73.00 shipped to my door which i am really impressed with for the price,it has all the settings as do the "big dog" lens,but a cheap price,and ArcOne is a very reputable company that has been around for many years as far as welding hood/lens.
Alot of the higher end companies have recently been coming out with a budget minded lens/hoods now for the fact of the flood of the Chinese hood market.
I only Paid 80.00 for my Speedglas 100v and it was still in the box brand new,but that was an Ebay deal someone had 3 of them and was selling,but they go for around 130.00 without the graphic designs,and around 150.00 with the fancy paint jobs,i am never concerned with thos fancy paints,being a career weldor i will tear that paint up in a matter of a few days anyhow.plus i just add ironworker stickers on mine to be "cool looking" anyhow,lol.
For the price for a budget minded person,you can't go wrong with the ArcOne Carerra hood,for about 75.00 shipped to you're door,it has grinding/torch settings,8-12 shade adjustment,low amp TIG setting,delay settings and the hood itself is VERY light but yet stout.
The only downfall i see in it is just the solar powered unit,no battery backup,in those types of lens,once that rechargable battery inside goes out,the lens is useless,i like the solar rechargables with a battery back up.
Been a while since i posted here,let me see if i can post the 3 autos i have right now...