The general concepts and knowledge needed to build extremely powerful and precisely controlled plasma based LENR reactors exists. Such systems bypass at least some of the tricky issues of systems that use bulk materials (rod, bar, powder) that continually plague experimentalists. For example, instead of wondering what's happening inside a thick steel reactor core, you can monitor the reactions within a discharge tube by looking at the ion acoustic oscillations on your oscilloscope. I think that although they involve a bit more complexity in some ways (requiring a less than generic power supply and the knowledge to tune circuit into resonance), the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
I've explained this before but I'll mention it once again. The unifying theme of a wide range of plasma based systems going back all the way to the age of Tesla seem to be the utilization of the negative resistance regime that by definition (even in mainstream papers) requires the self-organization, out of the chaos of the plasma soup, of a "complex space charge" that absorbs and transforms energy from the environment to power the circuit while the voltage to current relationship is flip flopped. Every time this negative resistance is utilized, there seem to be anomalies. I firmly believe that this negative resistance zone and the plasma structures that form are the key to inducing various nuclear reactions (depending upon the fuel mixture) and perhaps even extracting some quantity of energy from the vacuum. Actually, such a negative resistance does something else as well. According to Randell Mills of Brilliant Light Power, it allows for a massive rate enhancement of hydrino formation. Now, I'm not certain if hydrinos according to his definition exist. I tend to think they are simply re-organizations of hydrogens and electrons that help facilitate nuclear reactions. But whatever they are, it seems like they are capable of producing exothermic reactions.
Now, I'm not exactly sure of the "goal" of this thread. I have said in the past that a team needs to get together and try to produce a device utilizing the knowledge of the negative resistance regime. However, there wasn't an over abundance of interest back then, and I don't know if there will be now. But I want to remind everyone that the utilizing the negative resistance regime in a plasma reactor sure does seem like low hanging fruit - at least if a team has a couple of people knowledgeable in electrical engineering.
I have came up with additional ideas that could be tested by a team working on a pure plasma based reactor. In particular, I think the usage of magnetic fields and other methods of spin polarizing ions with a nuclear spin could be extremely useful.