I pointed out that the exact same city pair, hauled by the same locomotives, if booked as NOL-SAS/SAS-NOL (same train, but the second leg is the Texas Eagle cars from Chicago), cost more in money but less in points. She agreed, and said, "But you'd have to change sleeping cars." I gave up, for now. Given the way the system is working, I think I'm going to have to check daily because it looks like the redemption levels change randomly. I also think it's possible that if I book it as two legs, the car attendants can work together to let me stay in the same compartment, because it really makes no sense at all to have me move from car to car and make more work for them as well as us.
Alternatively, we just stay in New Orleans for two extra days, because if we leave on Wednesday instead of Monday, the point cost goes back down again. At least it does today.