Managed to procure a reel of LED strip made with the LPD8806 driver. What a difference! The first thing that was immediately apparent was that this reel had 48 pixels per meter as opposed to the 32 on the WS2801 strips. Bonus! My design uses 48 pixels, so this was perfect for testing. I just needed to cut one single meter, hang it up, and start testing.
I started with a modest delay of 750 microseconds. It worked like a charm. Than I started dropping it, first to 500, then to 250, 100, 50 … zero! To my amazement, with no delay what so ever, the updating worked without any data corruption. This is well past the speed that I would need it to update!