I was going to chime in before, but the one thing I can bring in is this. I've noticed that when I use an auto-darkening helmet, I think I weld better. Being a "rookie-novice" welder,I attribute that to the fact that I get a bit jittery when I don't start right where I want to, and then I strike in a few more "odd places"--like oily shop rags-- that I didn't intend on. Maybe I'm just buying into some old wives tail, but I do notice a difference.
Lots of good info to be found otherwise. Serves as a good discussion.
In a while, Chet.