First, thanks to all (SM2000, MMan, BH, & Skeets) on the responses and kudos.
Okay, finished up prep of the oldest for his chemistry midterm and went in to take some photos.
So here's the rope light held in the middle of the channel and at the top of it (highest point without being seen). You can clearly see all of the shadows the wires in the rope are making on the paint. By the way, the dark paint enhances it, but it's also visible when I hold the rope up against my white primed walls.
For the next pic, I pushed the rope all the way down into the bottom of the crown in the lowest part of the V. As you can see, almost all of the shadows are gone, but as BH commented, this produces a hard edge of light on the ceiling of which I don't like at all.
Here's a close-up with the rope in the bottom of the channel:
...and a close-up with the rope in the middle and on top of the channel:
The bottom of the channel is 4.5" from the ceiling. The top is 2". As one would expect, the closer to the ceiling you get, the better the dispersion, but the worse the shadows.
As for the blue incandescent, it's better at not casting shadows, but not by too much. It's also not very blue at all. Here it is held up...
...against the white primed wall:
...and against the dark ceiling:
Against the white wall, you can see that it still shadows very badly. The color is very light and more like teal.
Even against the dark ceiling you can see the shadows and the light output drops dramatically. Only the rope light itself looks more blue.
So... I guess I'll send my pics off to 1000Bulbs and see what they have to say. Something tells me that LED is in my future and MMan will be saying "I don't you so". I do hate LED lights when I see them out at Christmas time. Maybe rope lighting will be different somehow in that I'm not looking at the led lights themselves, only their output.
I did try lining a portion of the tray with aluminum foil. It helped a little bit to hide the shadows and amp up the light, but really not much at all. You had to look for it to see the difference. I added in a solid white thick, reflective paper on the wall of the channel, and again it helped in amping it up, but shadows were still heavily present.
So, there it is for now. Hopefully 1000Bulbs will be accommodating with returns should I go that route.
I'll keep everyone posted!