FInally, after literally decades of striving, I have succeeded. That's right, for once I have a haircut I like.
I am pleased* with how it looks whether up or loose, parted side or middle, after wash-n-wear with no styling, or even upon waking the next day. I'm going to celebrate it now because it is certain to grow out and look bad again within 3 days or so.
*That's not to say anyone else would necessarily approve, but I don't really care about that.