@GreenAsJade: I totally agree with a setting that could level the ground, as you ask.
If you need a vote, you have mine!
I’m not convinced though that analysis causes all the problems that you listed.
As an example: a friend of mine recently subscribed on KGS and tells me that his rank on KGS is a lot higher than on OGS. He doesn’t use a lot of analysis, but his experience is the opposite of your fears.
Maybe the “Go server rank survey” will give us more data than one single person does.
Also I’m not convinced by your hurdles metaphor: there is a big difference between race and training.
In a race you want to win (or have a good placement).
In a training you want to become stronger.
You can become stronger also in a handicap system, running high hurdles against weaker players running low hurdles.
I think that tournaments are races and I agree if they’re without analysis.
But I think that the global ranking system of a server is a gym, for training.
Let’s suppose that a player had a “holy rank” of 2k below yours and was able to achieve a “cheated rank” of 2k above yours using analisys, what will be the consequencies for you?
If he always plays with analysys, you’ll lose against stronger opponent.
If he always plays without it, you’ll win against weaker opponent.
Things can mess up a little if he plays sometimes with and sometimes without analysis. So, as an average, he’ll be the same rank as yours and you’ll win sometimes and lose sometimes.
Sounds legit too.
Well, there could be a strange case: you always beat him in live games (where is almost impo-po-possible using analysis in 5mins) and always lose in correspondence games (with a lot of analysis).
Until now it’s never happened to me to play against the same opponent both live and correspondence, but it’s possible,
I can really see troubles only with a player with which you play a lot of games. But in that case it’s easy to arrange about settings.
I can’t proof, but I suspect that the analysis doesn’t affect at all global ranking.
Also I suspect that stronger players doesn’t use it at all.
And I’m pretty sure that hurdles training starts with low hurdles and that experienced runners don’t complain about it.