Well, Mark, that's the whole point of my asking the question... so that it may hopefully, be helpful to others. I ask, not for myself, since I have absolutely no interest in kata or bunkai what so ever. I'm merely curious about the knowledge and level of knowledge out there.
Personally, I think angles, range, foot/body/hand positions and purpose thereof are important elements or principles to consider.
As Ed said, if it is anything other than close-range/in-fighting, one should probably question the utility of such movement - although, it may in all likelihood be a valid counter, PROVIDED it is a prelude to or the follow up application results in a closing of the range.
I'm talking about general principles or rules of thumbs with which to understand how to break down kata, or how to apply kata movement to technical application. Yes, it's all movement, but these rules should be applicable to most armed and unarmed kata-based traditions, not just karate per se.
And of course, any movement can be used for anything, but you wouldn't use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, nor would you use a knife to open a can, unless you want to cut yourself open in the process.
So, other principles would include...?
How about movements where weight is dropped/sunk, or where movements are rising and floating?