A quick FWIW.......you're taking us into the realm of differences in feel, performance, and worth that are marginal to some, worth dying for to others, and sometimes so relative and dependent on so many variables that no definitive answer may be possible.
For myself, I ride a Rivendell Romulus lugged steel and the fit/geometry (probably more important than material) works wonderfully for the longish, hilly rides I like to snail around on. Yet I've never ridden any other material except aluminum which seemed "dull" (nice, evocative but meaningless word) to me. To buy and live with a cutting edge material bike would be expensive and maybe result in little noticable improvement. But, I sometimes speculate, it might be worth trying....always hoping for some bike gear miracle that matches the hype. Like you, I remain confused and hesitant.
Pretty long non-answer huh? Hope others can be more satisfying. 8-)
Go to the Riv site, scroll down the sidebar (News and Events I believe its titled) till you come to a small link to "Rivendell Forum". That's the place to go for questions about the frames, bikes, attitudes, etc. of Riv. Bikes. Rivendell is a niche brand, not for racing, but lovely, long riding highly practical and downright pretty or elegant bikes for people (not specifically racers) who just like to ride a lot. Traditional frames, thoughtful geometries, functional parts choices......sorta retro without being dumbly stubborn. Sometimes they go over the top-- e.g. 650B wheel sizes, etc... but they do offer some sweet alternatives to Trek Madones. I've never heard of a failed frame or lack of customer enthusiasm; they love to answer questions over the phone or email has been my experience.
Mostly they sell bikes mail-order from Walnut Creek, CA. Go to the forums and post any questions. Certainly worth a look if you don't see yourself riding a carbon compact with a 2 oz. saddle and lot of attitude 8-)
For my style of riding, my Romulus is sweet....a cheaper knock-off of their $$ custom frames.
Electra Townie 1 + 1986 Schwinn Sprint converted to SS + NorthStar Coral Nexus 7
I believe that material matters less than thickness and geometry. A fine century bike can be made of ANY of the materials that you specify. The geometry and thicknesses that are "best" for any one of the materials would be different to achieve the same effect in another. That being the case, the "all other things being equal" premise you specify can't be used.
I've built steel frames in the past, and may do so again in the future. Steel frames can feel any way you want them to if the builder is skilled enough. This statement is probably true for all other materials as well.
Others may disagree with this opinion, but IMHO, I don't think your question can be answered in the form stated.
Being in my 70s and having pedaled over 1/4 million miles and having owned/ridden steel, alu, ti and carbon fiber . . .
. . . my biased and unhypothetical opinion is carbon fiber. Own a custom ariZona c/f single; it's a great handling bike, great frame material!