I'm not arguing nor discounting your qualifications, or testing methodology. If in the market you work in, that's what it takes to keep that edge, all the more power to you.
I am intimately familiar with what tabletop and commercial entails, at one time I worked for a rather largish studio(10 shooters, 15+ set areas, more Sinar and Broncolor than I think the distributor had in stock at the time, etc.) Prior to doing my own shooting in-house. I have and still shoot some catalog work, though I try to limit what I do, as some jobs just aren't worth it, if it won't fit on an 8x10 table in my studio, unless it's a location shot, I pass. And then there are those few clients that I just won't deal with the grief (trying to renegotiate pricing, after chromes are shot and processed, etc.) I can understand the competitiveness, I've been to the photo district and it is amazing. I work in a different type of market ( and sometimes, it seems a different world, when's the last time you shot chromes of farm equipment?) and yes, I'm still one of those odd ducks, who shoots film, unless I moved closer to a major metropolitan area, the ROI on a digital back would be measured in decades.
The Componon series are in fact a plasmat design, and from an optical formula standpoint, as I am told, for all intents and purposes the equivilent of a Symmar, though optimized for different rep. ratios. I have both, and honestly, on a 6x7 or 4x5 chrome, the end result on the majority of my work, is for all practical purposes, identical. (I don't use a 40x microscope, as I shoot all my work at 100% rep. ratio, up to 8x10 and have been known on occaision to sketch on a gg with a grease pencil, or print out a blue line of the layout on trans film and tape it to the ground glass) the primary difference I see, and why I keep at least one older (symmar, non -s, non mc) lens of each focal length I commonly shoot, is contrast, about 30% of my work is outside of the realm of a studio, and at times the ability to tame contrast, by use of a non or single coated lens) is just one of a multitude of tools at my disposal. FWIW, Artars, as well as G-Clarons are and have always been process lenses, a very specialized form of enlarging lens (extremely low geom. distortion, etc), though they are now most used as taking lenses.
I was taught by some very gifted and talented photographers, most of whom, sadly are gone. They worked in a time when you got the shot, with whatever tools you had at your disposal, not chasing the latest wonder lens/camera/film that would guarantee you success instantly, by the very virtue of using them. I've seen high dollar campaigns shot with everything from a tired old 2D, 8x10 Master Views, a few Graphic Views, as well as Speed graphics and their ilk (I prefer the B&J press camera, personally) to Sinar's, Arcas and Linhofs. And in the ulitmate test, the client really didn't care which camera you shot with, only that the chrome was what they wanted.
Brian, by any chance, do you have a 135 symmar? I can send you a set of componon cells, they screw right into a #0 shutter and you're welcome to try them yourself.
Most of my personal work is shot with a variety of lenses, running the gamut from a 180 Symmar-S MC to a 12" T-R Triple convertible and even a few Ektars in barrels with a packard. For me at least, photography has moved from a vocation to a semi avocation, I can pick and choose what jobs, or whether to even shoot at all, without affecting my main source of income, so my perspective is drastically different from yours.