This ICE has been doing some work in Blue Sun: Powering the Future. At first, it was a test, to try and counter I've Had Worse. It works beautifully for that purpose. First, you look at the runner's hand. Do you see anything you would like to snipe? (I've Had Worse, Plascrete Carapace, Self-modifying Code, ...) If you can get a counter without breaking the bank, go for it. Use it immediately if you intend to bring it back at the start of your turn.

But here is the beauty of this ICE: You don't have to use it immediately. Keeping it means the runner has to be even more vigilant.

If you need that 6 credits right now, you have a window after the runner discards where you can use the token, before the start of your turn.

Salem's Hospitality! It counts towards Alliance, the viewing the Runner's grip is on encounter and so almost unavoidable, and you can snipe things without the subroutine having to go off. —

The problem with Spinal Modem is not trace ICE. It's with effects that add a trace on access, like, Ash 2X3ZB9CY, Manhunt, Bernice Mai and Self-destruct.

Brain damage is manageable, actually, unless the corp is actively trying to flatline the runner. Some flatline decks even attempt to inflict brain damage, in which case this console can become a liability.

The card says "Whenever there is a successful trace during a run, suffer 1 brain damage." The key word there is during, Manhunt says 'the first time the runner makes a successful run' that it's in fact occurring AFTER a run has taken place. A run is successful when you access a sever, thus ending the run. I would think that you wouldn't take brain damage from upgrades like those. —
that's not exactly true. a run is successful when the runner decides to access and not jack out after passing all of the ICE. then Manhunt triggers, before access. the run idn't over until after access has completed, so Manhunt definitely does trigger during a run, not after. —
From the most recent version of the "Timing Structure of a Run" chart, found in v2.1 of the FAQ: —
^ "4. The Runner APPROACHES the attacked server. "4.2 The Runner decides whether to continue the run. "4.4 The run is conidered to be SUCCESSFUL. "4.5 Access cards, then go to [5]. "5 The run ends." Manhunt triggers after step 4.4, so nothing has been accessed yet. Same as Ash and Bernice Mai. Self Destruct is a curiosity, but according to its text, the trace from it occurs during a run. Immediately after the trace concludes the run ends unsuccessfully, since the server no longer exists. —