any lessons learned from CMIYC 2012 to be factored in?
The Team hashcat writeup for the Korelogic 2012 contest mentioned various points, including the need to handle "pass phrase dictionaries."

Are any of the lessons learned from the contest going to be factored into any of the hashcats or utilities?
The utilities were included with the write up. The phrases that KL used are hardly even close to real world, do not see any benefit to adding them to hashcat-utils.