I think most folks would agree it definitely gets scary below 225...slower, shallower, mankier...and the class II paddle out is torturous at that level.
I've never done it at the present levels, but I agree that every time I've done it, more water was more fun with at best a negligible amount of difficulty added. It gets faster, but the lines are the same, just cleaner. There are one or two places where the holes are a little more troublesome, but it's really not much different, just bigger and faster. The exception to that is probably Supermax (and 2nd drop of Four Falls?), which does change, top and bottom, but since I don't run the hourglass anymore, better to let someone else comment on it.
As for volume, that is 454 cfs from the tunnel and the rest is runoff. (FYI the max the tunnel can put out is just shy of 700 cfs - beyond that DWB found that the water starts to physically damage the outflow system.) As to how long it stays this high, it depends on when the SP reservoirs are topped off. I don't know where to find reservoir levels online, but I'm sure they are out there.