Well, I guess I had my answer while I was writing the post. Shut up and muscle up. We all need to aim to be stronger (particularly me!).
I didn't even dare touch on the issue of the HSPUs.
In terms of setting the bar down though I still think there are variables here. I have no problem putting the bar back down to earth when I lift. This is part of the exercise. I'm not keen on doing near maximal work where I can't safely dump the bar. But the setting down phase adds to the demands of the exercise, obviously. If you do pull-ups and someone supports your weight at the top and then back down then the exercise is easy. If you do slow negatives, you get sore.
Take this complex which I created from a video posted here ages ago:
Dynamic Row (a fast deadlift to bent row) 1
Hang Power Clean 1
Push Press 1
Clean Grip Power Snatch 1
I would normally do this 5x5 at 40kg. When I have done this with bumpers and can drop the bar quickly I find it a relative breeze. In my training environment at home where everything is controlled then it sucks.
Look at this vid from my Neider Press post:
The guy is doing heavy swings but he is only doing the upward portion of the movement. There is no ballistic loading on the posterior chain as he brings the db back down. In this case though I concede that his technique actually drops the intensity of the movement and the speed with which he can perform the reps.
If you are doing 30 snatches for time and you dump the bar (under control) every rep you are obviously going to move faster and use less gas. You are reducing the work done. This is in fact more efficient. Mark Twight mentioned a while ago that he had some guys doing Turkish get up and from standing they were dropping the weight and then lying back down for the next rep. They argued that this was the most efficient (and perhaps functional) way to perform the exercise. I seem to remember that Twight sort of conceded this but pointed out that this wasn't the point of the Turkish get up. If you run around the perimeter of a football pitch then it is quicker to cut the corners isn't it?
Now I sound like I'm badmouthing technique again which isn't the aim and I have no idea how I can apply these ideas to thrusters or HSPUs where there really is nowhere to hide.
If I lift something heavy in life ideally I want to be able to put it down again afterwards. If I miss a clean in the gym then stuff it but dropping a piano or a drunk girlfriend has a bit more seriousness attached to it.
Anyway, enough crap from me. The main answer as I said at the beginning is just get stronger