I installed the Windows drivers and applications that Hauppauge included with the Nova-T stick to see what they 'know' about dvb-t reception. The application itself never showed what the DVB reception details are. I can see channel number or frequency, but nothing like modulation, guard rate, forward error correcting rate or pid. I eventually found out the WinTV application stores all channel data in a databasefile hcwChanDB_5.mdb but serious browsing of that file using mdbtools shows that the program IDs are listed but those settings aren't. I guess the DVB-T receiver in WinTV is really good at detecting those settings from the TPS (Transmission Parameters Signalling). The only things listed are the frequency and the service_id which is indeed the same as the service number which I can see using scan from dvb-utils.
Searching for the same functionality in Linux did not yield much until I browsed the linux-dvb mailinglist archives. I found that 'AUTO' is a valid setting for a lot of the values for scan. Trying that with the known frequencies does indeed give good results, so I can use that as an option when I can't find the right settings when scanning for German and Belgian dvb-t transmitters.