Did I tell you before how helpful I've found your comparison photos? If I haven't, I will now - it's great to see your actual experience.
Thought I would bring up something basic that I didn't know. When you shoot raw, especially if you use ACR, none of your camera settings will make any difference. What you see will be what the sensor sees, not any in-camera processing. The one exception to that (at least my experience) is with the Vivid mode. Then there is a noticable difference - the colors are more saturated and the image has more sharpening than otherwise (I took a series of very boring photos of a large roll of architectural drawings that proved this). Just my opinion, for the most part (not always),I prefer the natural camera settings over the vivid mode. I often like something in between the two the best, and it is easier for me to make the adjustments myself. It's a personal preference so don't hesitate to use it if it pleases you.