Good post, bro.
I hope that I'm not shitting on your point and misinterpreting, but I'd like to add to what you've said.
To the op, you are correct in putting protein requirements first and foremost. I feel that's the basis for constructing an effective diet for those looking to improve their physique and physical performance. The exact number of grams per day is somewhat debated (i.e. 1g/lb of BW or 1.5g/lb etc) but, we can all agree that a higher intake than that followed by the average individual is definitely best. It is my understanding that protein can be a bit lower during a good caloric surplus, of which the brunt is by eating a good amount of carbohydrates. Long story short..high protein intake is definitely the first and most important step.
Now..the food choices that make up your macros, this is up for a lot of debate it seems. This is my take and I think it's in line with the poster above me: If you have a vested interest in your health and overall well-being, you should tend to fulfill your daily carb/fat macros by way of "real", whole food sources.. i.e. potatoes and other tubers, rice etc. That being said..having more processed, refined carbs have their place in the PWO period and I like to utilize this period of time by eating processed carbs/sugars like frosted flakes with my protein shake etc. I see no harm in this..
Now..putting the health aspect of the debate off to the side (which I'm not suggesting people do), there isn't much research to prove that refined carbs vs whole food carbs would make much of a physique difference, assuming that you take in the same amount of grams. This way of think is called If It Fits In Your Macros...or IIFYM... and I've experimented with this way of thinking. Assuming one does not have food allergies to certain grains or whatnot, there has been little difference in my physique between periods where I get the majority of my carbs from refined, processed sources vs whole, unprocessed sources etc.