I so enjoy reading your findings on the constant search for helping swimmers to swim faster with the best possible technique possible.
I, too, learned EVF but learned it from George Haines and Don Easterling. And they both used the example of swimming crab-like or over the barrel. Drills were setup to help us swimmer swim EVF (catch) without harm.
When you discuss lift vs. drag, one Olympic swimmer comes to mind. Mary T. Meagher. She was a butterflier and held one of the most long-standing records of all times: 1979-1999. The one thing she was infamous for was the ability to be able to constantly change her hand/forearm position as drag increased or released. She spoke of this "feel" for the catch more than anything else. This, more than all of the records she broke, was the basis for her success. The ability to "feel" when changes needed to be made before they needed to be made.
Now, this is out of my league now, but I understand what she is referring to. But as more swimmers who learn how to feel the water as pressure changes, it will enlighten them to experiment with hand/forearm/stroke changes. And in open water, changes are happening all the time.
I always enjoy your threads. Keep them coming for I am listening and as I am listening, I am also reminiscing.