I concur with your thoughts on Fireball.
I also concur on your thoughts on ENDISWAL, as I have learned too many ways of exploiting popcorn to ever think turning them to stone a good idea. Which worries me, as the "turn to stone effect" doesn't really do anything, and is more of a price for the other half of the spell, and the other half sort of takes a full inventory of stuff to really pay off in a meaningfull manner. Not exactly sure what's the deal, but I've been using it less and less.
I agree on the HALPMEH toughts - balancing it would be tough because of small numbers, but as it is its just too versatile. Too cheap, too synergistic with resists, too removes poison, too much better than fireball, yadda yadda.
Cydstep - is not actually bad now. Free death protection every time you level up is quite a strong and rare effect. It's what you get wrom a viciuos unlock, and the starting item that gives you a death protection is the most expensive one. I'd say it's still quite good with damage dealers in the later stages of the dungeon, especially if you saved popcorn for a mid fight level up - especially if combined with the Reflex and Dodge potions, either prepped or acquired from TT. It's probably the only reliable way to beat the Demonic Library right now, untill they nerf it.
And an Orc PISSORF wizard is really, really good.
I almost got pwned by Shifty Brickwork!