Just a couple general comments.
I also have been in the pursuit of the high end for fifty years.
In general, I have read professional reviews continuously. The core has been The Absolute Sound and Stereophile, adding more recently HiFi+. In general, I find them to be very consistently interpretable. You have to know the terminology and be able to read in between the lines… key words will clue you in to the experience or any slant the reviewer has not been able to avoid. Reading reviews of the same product improve accuracy greatly.
Anyway, I find it pretty easy to read a few reviews and then listen to the component without any surprises.
However, step out of that circle of publications and it becomes complete chaos. You might be able to get something out of a Stereo Times or who’s that photographer now doing high fi review, or other formats… but most often it is a waste of time.
I appreciate your considered opinion on hearing. It all sounds very logical. But I guess the thing I have to say is I don’t think it is that simple. The brain is active and helps to make up for deficiencies.
Throughout the last 35 years my female partner who has much better hearing than I ever did has gone with me and listened to equipment and I can alway describe and take her for a tour of the sound quality… in both absolute and in preferences. Either of us can completely hear and describe difference some young whippersnapper sales person with much better hearing can’t even hear. We go running from a room with high frequency hash and distortion and he doesn’t even hear it.
Finally, I meet with experienced audiophiles (some much younger) and we are equally able to discuss very subtle nuances of a sound systems presentation even with my old and somewhat compromised hearing.
None of this is an analytical argument against your very logical case. But, it just strikes me that it probably just a bit too simplistic to capture the real complexity of the subject.
Finally, just because you have truncated hearing it does not mean a better system is a waste if time or money. A good system is not turned into a great system simply by reaching higher in the frequency spectrum. Every aspect of sound improves. Also those higher reaches in sound have an impact on the lower ones that you can hear (think harmonics) so, them being there improves what you can hear.