From my point of view, finding an optimal plan is actually not what the TAS has been stuck on for a while. I definitely wanted to hit the 2003 turn mark (which seems to be possible with room to spare at this point), but 2002 is probably too much.
The basic reason behind this is that some strategies, while it's great to know that they're possible, simply aren't going to be any fun to TAS or any fun to watch.
For example, say you hypercharge an engulfing monster and get it to carry you across Air, randomly stumbling into the portal. The minimum possible travel distance for that is 33 squares, and hypercharged monster movement is effectively a random walk; and the average time a walk that randomizes between left and right takes to reach any particular square is proportional to the square of the distance. 33² is 1089. Take into account the possibility of moving up or down (this happens ¼ of the time), and we're going to need an average of around 1452 hypercharges to reach the horizontal position a minimum-distance portal (somewhat more to stumble into the correct vertical position, too, but that's minor by comparison). Luck manipulation can bring this number down a bit, but the more you try to save on hypercharges, the more luck you need, and there are limits to how much it's reasonably possible to luck-manipulate.
Now, let's consider that hypercharging a monster requires spending turn boundaries; this isn't something you can increase the speed of by using a faster polyform. Let's say we get insanely lucky and find an RNG state that crosses Air in just 1000 hypercharges (there may not be one of these in NetHack's seed space, or it may require many decades of wallwalking, etc.). The fastest we can hypercharge a monster is 4 hypercharges per turn boundary, so the final run will involve 250 turns – ⅛ of the run – spent just repeating the same glitch over and over again. There might be a way to make that interesting to watch by doing other things in between the hypercharges using spare actions, but there are limits, and it would be incredibly tedious to TAS regardless.
And this is just one glitch! My basic problem with the 2002-turn plans is that they require strategies with this level of tedium all over the place. Shaving off actions is great, but at some point the cost of entertainment – and the cost to the TASers' sanity – is going to make the time saving not worth it, at least if you want any chance of the run to be finished. At this point, I think 2002 turns is something that isn't desirable to aim for unless some new glitches are discovered that make such a run actually tolerable. (2003-turn strategies were in this area for a while, but have since been improved, which is what started to bring the 2002-turn strategies within range.)
Instead, I think that what would lead to the best and most entertaining run would be to hit 2003 with a lot of strategy variety. I think it'd be both more fun to watch, and more fun to TAS, if we can come up with an endgame strategy which isn't just enexto'ing over and over and over again. There are lots of potential strategies we've discovered, like overflow hurtles and zero-timed descension runs, and I think that using those to help hit 2003 would make a better run even if they aren't quite necessary.
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is partly because I forgot to write it earlier, but partly because I think people are assuming that I'm waiting for a 2002-turn plan before resuming the run. That's not the case – I'm happy to run on a 2003-turn plan. However, I've had various problems in my personal life, and TASing hasn't been a huge priority for me as a consequence (and a lot can change in terms of personal circumstances in 11 years); I've had to put a lot of hobbies on hold, and TASing is one of them. That's not to say I've abandoned the TAS; it's more like I've put it on hold until I can have the opportunity to work on it again. (I think dwangoAC has also been busy with other things, quite understandably! So there hasn't been much progress in terms of actually grinding out rerecords.)