Nice review, Jim. Excellent illustrative pictures, as well.
My experience matches yours. I did a side-by-side comparison of a Native5 vs a Buck Vantage Pro in S30V slicing manila rope. I couldn't tell the difference in edge retention performance. I'm aware of the brouhaha about the performance of S35VN. Based on my observations, not to mention yours, Spyderco did a good job with it and it is fair dinkum stuff with edge retention performance very similar to that of S30V.