Have you ever considered making LFTP a server process? As in, you could
send commands to a shared server process that executes the transfers and
streams progress back the the client? In theory multiple processes could
initiate transfers and re-use connections.

For that matter, have you considered making machine-parseable output an
option? Maybe JSON like:

{"type": "progress", "progress": 10, "bytes_transferred": 10000,
"bytes_total": 100000, rate: 1}
(where progress is in percent and rate is in K/s)

And then maybe something like this when it finishes?
{"type": "complete", "result": "error", "error": "transfer aborted"}
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