Wondering if running wider tires on cross bikes is popular here or more unusual.
I decided to go from the default 700x32 to 700x38 for my Tricross. I'm mostly on hardpack gravel bike paths and find they give better overall traction, cornering, and a lot less jolting ride. The bike also feels less rigidly jarring and more forgiving of holes, ridges, and rough spots. Much more comfortable on long rides and easier on the bike I think.
Although a little heavier, I don't notice any less rolling resistance and my pedaling speed seems unaffected. I went with Hemisphere Armadillos. Since I don't race, I'm convinced that slightly wider tires on gravel work best (at least for me).