Thanks for the elaborate answer, a big help!
I just checked one of the on-line manuals of Bowens (Quad 2400, a modern generator), and next to the power pull you mentioned, they also mention:
the quad 2400 has the facility to adjust the charging
times. turn the fast/slow switch to slow if:
1.) a poor quality ac supply is being used.
2.) several power packs are to share the same
3.) fast recycling is not required.
using the slow setting whenever possible will
prolong the life of the capacitors.
So I'll stick to that.