You captured almost exactly what I have been thinking this week. I have been in The Startup, The Ascent, and Curious before, and the small additional bump in readership is not worth the amount of time (up to 9 business days) to find out if my story has been accepted.
I too am experimenting with self-publishing. This will be the first week I have written a loing-form story 7 days in a row, and I self-published all of them. I have 2.4K followers so I have a little more ability to do that than a new writer.
I write for new writers on Medium a good bit. Perhaps I should consider publishing on Feedium. I like that pub and didn't know they were accepting new writers.
I also want to mention Age of Empathy. I have only published one story with them but I have been mentioned in several weekly newsletters and have been tagged in at least 5 of their tweets. They are serious about promoting their writers.