I can’t agree with some of your contentions. If you’re fingering properly you’re not so much pushing down on the strings with your fingers. You’re using the natural weight of the hand to do most of the heavy lifting. That’s ine reason why electric bass players don’t arch their fingers so much at the second joint like a violinist would. The fingers stay relatively flat. As far as lower tension allowing more speed goes I’d have to disagree as well. Looser tension provides more “grab” on the plucking hand because of the greater degree of excursion. If you want to be blazingly fast, invest in a ramp. That, coupled with a stiffer string, minimizes the amount of string and finger excursion and generally will speed up most people’s runs significantly. Minor point…string stiffness and string tension are two different things. Most players have definite preferences when it comes to how stiff a string feels. Flatwound, hex core, and round core strings can vary greatly in how stiff they feel regardless of the tension in pounds pull they’re exerting. String tension is less of a concern for the average player. It’s only really an issue when the combined string tension exceeds the ability of a truss rod to counterbalance it. As far as leaving the truss rod completely loosened goes, that’s all well and good as long as the neck doesn’t develop a front or back bow - or (even worse!) a twist. This can happen even without strings on it as the wood ages, or when the environmental conditions surrounding it change with the seasons. The truss rod doesn’t just counteract the pull of strings. It helps stabilize the neck itself. I will agree on acoustic instruments with a sound board being driven by the motion of metal strings over a bridge that it’s important to take the downward and lateral tension into consideration. But proper bracing and construction methods go a long way towards making sure that's not a problem on acoustic instruments as long as you’re using the type of strings the instrument was designed for. For example, you might get away with using nylon strings on a guitar designed for steel strings. But you probably couldn’t safely use steel strings on most classical guitars without risk of damage. That said, electric basses are designed with metal strings in mind - if for no other reason than they mostly use magnetic pickups. So metal strings are a given. And electric basses are not cellos or string basses. So the same construction techniques and design criteria don’t really apply. Electric basses are usually built to withstand a pretty fair amount of stress and punishment. The only realistic limit on their design is their size and weight relative to the human body since someone needs to be able to hold and play them. But this is running long so I’ll wrap it up for now. Suffice to say you ask some interesting questions. However, I don’t think the issues you raise are the problems you seem to be saying they are. But maybe that’s just me. And as you pointed out earlier, a lot of how we see it is merely a reflection of our personal preferences.