Good read storm!
I've been thinking about possible gameplay mechanics for the clans here's what I've come up with
Before I go on i'll make two Assumptions: There is only one pilot per account and everyone uses c-bills*
First of all I totally agree to trial by position to enter. Don't make the cut? Sorry you can't partake in another Trial until X time period has passed. If you pass the Trial you join the clan get the right to buy clan mechs and equipment (which can be revoked if you fight too dishonorably too many times and faced with a trial of Anihhilation, win and nothing happens, lose and you lose your status as a Clanner (right term yes?) and all characteristics of a clanner)
I like feor's idea on starting a match 100% honor, though I would advocate it going up to 200% per match and down to zero. This percentile would modify how much c-bills/xp you would get (normal rate multiplied by honor, which is a percentile) That way if you fight honorably you get rewarded (Example : kills under Zellbrigen rules for example would add say 10% to your honor while a normal kill rewards 5%), fight dishonorably (ex: break zell in a zell invoked duel for a 10% honor penalty), get punished.
If you consistantly get a high honor rating, I say you should be eligible for a "Trial of bloodright" Succeed and you start a match with higher honor and a bloodname which is available only a to limited number of players and is shown as an extension to their username, however this makes you a bigger target (get killed and bigger rewards are given to opponets) also dishonorable actions have more of an effect on you.
I also like your idea of balancing the BV of mechs when it comes to numbers.
This probably doesn't adhere to cannon that well (something I don't have expertise in, I tried to use your guide to help) but in summary this gives them a higher risk, higher reward playstyle that some may find appealing but ensures that not everyone would be jumping at them just because the clans have better tech, also it ensures that the players must be skilled and must think like a clanner to stay in.
That's what I came up with, no Idea how well it could work but I thought I would throw this out here
*Sidenote on c-bills: yes I know C-bills are IS currency and clans could care less, but it's for the sake of gameplay uniformity, all three current player-types all use C-bills, and would give (good) clans easier access to their omnimechs (which they get that right to buy them in the first place by trial of position, IS could theoretically salvage them, but it would be expensive to maintain and impossible to replace without salvaging the same piece again).
And I actually have a question: Bidding: what exactly is it? because I have some ideas on community warfare aspect of being a clanner but I want to be clear I understand bidding properly before going on about it.