One of the things I saw while making my log is that sitting down and thinking about how I'm spending my turns makes ascending much more efficient. Also, ATs get an absurd early-level advantage with Moxious Madrigal allowing them to kick in +monster level stuff pretty much as soon as they aquire the skill. I also learned that playing the game while recording every move takes a long time and is pretty boring. Now, to be fair, I was being exceedingly verbose with my turn results. Some logs that I've read simply use notation like, "596-607: got my Pirate outfit.", which would be significantly easier to record, although it would involve me remembering adventure ranges, maybe.
I've since ascended into a Seal Clubber. There were two reasons for this: the shillelagh and the tattoo. My previous SC ascension was Bad Moon, and while I obviously got an arguably better weapon, I didn't get the sparkly Hardcore SC tattoo. On the upside, if they ever implement Bad Moon class tattoos I'll probably just find one in my list, but on the downside I want to get that tattoo. You might have noticed that I didn't mention that I wanted to get any SC skills. This is because I'm finding myself unsure as to what skills I even want from SC.
Eye of the Stoat has a good innate bonus of fumbling less (less frustrating) and critting slightly more (which is.. eh). Weaponcrafting would let me make Chrome weapons, which would be really useful in HCO once I get there. The Claws would make doing damage as a Moxie class a lot easier. The Tongues would allow me to cleanse Beaten Up with some MP (and also act as a weak heal). The Cold Protection innate would let me get through the Trapz0r without equipping my Parrot (uh..) and would also allow me to eventually fight Spookyraven more easily and pass through the DD with less worry (all of these reasons are fairly weak, although getting the set someday will make certain stuff slightly easier). At this point I'm basically torn between getting a Tongue skill (probably Walrus) and the Weaponcrafting skill (which sounds nice in theory but really only helps in making Chrome weapons and maybe a chefstave.) I probably favor the Walrus option.