After a relatively good night's sleep, it occurred to me that the real problem with the issue in my last post isn't about the number of dice rolled or anything -- it's about how Hits are generated. If you're dealing with high Traits on either side, you need a margin of success of at least 5 or 6 to obtain more than one Hit, and that's where the grind comes in.
This is actually a problem with pretty significant ramifications for the system as it pertains to degrees of success. The Hits element works fine as long as the participants aren't evenly matched, but when they are, it suffers from a common problem in RPGs: "Evenly-matched" translates to "consistently comparable rolls." I.e., grind and stagnation.
Whatever the solution is, I don't want to create a complicated special case for contests that doesn't apply otherwise. I'm inclined to say that you score one Hit for every two points by which you exceed the opponent's roll. You could call that margin of success divided by two, but people hate division, so I'm trying to avoid that particular operation wherever possible.
The only problem with this is that while it might work well for closely matched participants, it might be a little much if the two sides are a little more... uh... differently abled, as it were. But hey, this isn't for combat, so maybe it isn't a problem to be able to "one-shot" the opposition if you're in a chase or a negotiation.
Regardless, I'd keep the stress track for things like chases; there's no reason for that to change. The only problem is with the Hits, and the danger that they might not, as they say, keep on coming.