One map feature I have never been positive about that I see on some of your examples is shaded relief. It is always so dark that some areas, especially steep gradients are difficult to view lines. So the issue I have with shaded relief is it tends to be much too contrasty for my liking. I have been a topo map addict that goes back to the days when there were only 15 minute USGS topos and have amassed a digusting pile. And I have rambled about the Sierra Nevada, especially offtrail for decades with map right in front of me hanging from a zipper pull so have an acute understanding of the relationship between map features and terrain. So when viewing topographic maps tend to be able to imagine what I am l looking at well without a need for shading. However I would expect that I might feel positive about very light shading. Thus your info might interest me in creating an overlay with light shading or a set of maps with shading in opposite directions.
David Senesac Photography