Travel to india in between L1 and H1

I am on L1B visa currently for a reputed company in USA and it is valid till July 2014. And my current employer is doing my H1B considering the long term employement.

Company has already sent the H1B petition to USCIS for FY2014 (expected to be accepted on 1 April 2013).

I need to travel to india sometime this year, and I am trying to gauge my plans based on the safest option amongst following,

Option 1
I read in Q&A section that if I travel when I am on L1B visa, I can travel to India when the H1B petition is under process. In this case, H1B would not be abandoned but COS will. Then I can apply again for COS when I come back from India. Is this process smooth since, first time the COS was rejected/abandoned?

Could you let me know if COS and H1B are two independent processes?

If yes, do we get two separate tracking/receipt numbers from USCIS to track the status for?

If no, what is the order of COS and H1B processing?

In this case suppose, my H1B starts from 1 Oct 2013, then am I restricted to start working on it because, my COS might be still in process?

Option 2
If I consider travelling to india after the H1B processing is complete (after I receive I-797, may be aug/sept 2013) and before 1 Oct 2013, can I come back safely on my valid L1B visa? If COS is still in process, what happens to it? Even after my H1B is approved, will it be rejected just because I stepped out of USA irrespectibve of H1B visa approval?

Option 3
If I just wait till dec 2013 so that H1B and COS both the processes are over and go to india and get H1B stamped, and come back on H1B. Is this the safest option amongst above 2?

Please advice. Thank you in advance.
  1. If you travel while COS is in progress, then your COS will get abandoned. Your petition might get approved but it won’t be with a new I94.COS and H1 are not 2 independant process, when we say H1 is approved without I94(while you have filed a COS) then it is like saying that your H1 is approved but your status will only change to H1 once you leave the country and get it stamped. So in your case, if COS is abandoned but approved then even after October 1 you would remain on L1 until you get the visa stamped.

  2. If you travel after your COS approval and come back on L1 before October 1 you should be fine, you do not need stamping. your h1 won’t be rejected or revoked because of this

  3. This is also a good option, the only thing is stamping would be required before coming back to US if you want to work on H1 otherwise you can again tavel back on L1

I think option 2 is the safest but its your call if you want to get it stamped.