Sounds like the solution for label import from CAD and ESRI might be fairly similar. Generally both are most useful if they match their box, although converting to a point is a useful option for when not using the render scale.
Anything that would help automate their import would be appreciated. At a minimum, we need more parameters that can be thematically set. We get the following fields from ESRI when importing labels and only a few can be currently set thematically: font, font size, bold, italics, underline, vertical alignment, horizontal alignment, xoffset, yoffset, angle, font leading, word spacing, character width, character spacing, flip angle, and override. Hopefully a means can be found to allow the Style pane GUI to set all these parameters to a field.