i dont use the HDA Connect for VPN. i use a Cisco client.
The Cisco client allows for "split tunneling", i dont think the HDA Client does. What this means is that, while connected to the VPN, using split tunneling, my laptop will use my internet connection as a default before the VPN interface.
I guess the way you guys specify is fine for most users. It is just cleaner to use a non internet Top Level Domain, like ".local"