ha ha ha there is one of the friendly knowlegable ones there.
i was just working on a different angle to this...
what if you parent a low poly representation of the model to the skeleton. similar to a low poly control rig. and make the pieces of that a passive body.. it didnt seem to slow my simulation down as bad.
just a thought.......
although one of the many important things i have learned from this site, mike, is that when jay speaks.......... you listen!