I think it's a good idea. The existing bonus life dip switch options are essentially pointless - they're all pretty much the same thing.
I do like the idea of having one setting that only gives just one bonus life. But the other 3 could have different repeating spreads.
As far as I can estimate, scoring will still be similar to original DK but a bit higher due to hammers on the alternate elevators stage, jump with hammer giving more reach, the extra bonus stages, and slightly increased spawn rates later on. Rough guestimate maybe 1,800,000 max attainable score??
The death rate may seem like it'll be high, but it's tricky to tell because optimal strategies haven't necessarily been discovered yet.
Maybe something like:
-10,000 points only
-15,000 points and every 150,000 points
-25,000 points and every 250,000 points
-35,000 points and every 350,000 points
A player could (fairly) quickly discover what the machine they stepped up to is set at. The first extra life is easy for casual players, the rest more difficult but covering a fairly wide range because we don't know what the ideal setting would be.
In other news, I got 1,2,3 and 4 barrel/etc.. combo jumps implemented across all screens. 100, 300, 500 and 800 points. That also means silly things like a DK + fireball combo leech, or spring + fireball combo leech = 300 points, in addition to the actual purpose of being able to jump over 4 things at once for 800 points.