No. That's not right.
First of all, you do not "have" to use the first option with ADE L. You can simulate a config with ADE L - so this is by far the best approach.
Secondly, if not using a config, the switch and stop lists are defined via the Setup->Environment form in ADE. It wouldn't read a "si.env" file anyway - you potentially could put it in a .simrc file, but I wouldn't recommend that - there are cdsenv variables if you want to change the defaults, but it sounds as if this is specific to a particular design.
Thirdly, the stop list can only contain view names (not cell names), and the view names need to be in the list of views in the view list - the idea is that it tries to switch into the views in the view list in order, and switches into the first in the list. Once switched into that view, it checks if that view is in the stop list (and if so, it stops expandign the hierarchy).