I’ve heard people argue that the true balance point for the game would be an Axis bid of 27 or so. quote]
Yipes, A bid of 27! Actually I heard somewhere of a study done of 10,000 or so online games that found the balance point for games without RR to be around 17, and the balance point with RR to be around 7. I heard that info second hand though, so do not ask me for the source.
That said, the idea of a negative bid, has some merit and could be an interesting variation. Although, it seems to me that it would be relatively easy for the Allies to eliminate large numbers of points with minimum risk. Midway, Canada, Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, South Africa, Syria = 29 IPCs to play with for obvious deletions in an Allied negative bid.