Thanks Roger, James, Michael, Robert and Vick,
You confirmed what I was thinking. My high loft outlet R2 fleece is super warm with a 3 ounce windshirt or light softshell (15 ounce Patagonia Stretch Krushell, same jacket as Ready Mix) or hardshell over it, and a thin light merino baselayer under it provides the comfort. That fleece top, which is like a thick synthetic fur, only weighs 12 ounces, is super durable and dries out super fast. Merino as a midlayer just didn't make sense to me.
I'd also have to agree about the merino softshell jackets as well. I was a bit suprised by the high kudos BPL lavished on them, though I like that merino is a renewable resource and think the material has more potential. I have the same two Ibex jackets, but find they're much more suited to casual use. They are not as functional or versatile as my 15 oz. Patagonia Stretch Krushell. They are not very water resistant, don't provide much warmth in high wind without a windshirt under or over them because they are very air permeable, take longer to dry out and don't have a hood. And with a shell over them, they are also not as warm as a high loft synthetic midlayer like my fleece.
I could only see using the Neve in a very high abrasion situation, like rock/ice climbing/bushwacking, but I think the Krushell/Ready Mix handles abrasion quite well for the weight (though I wouldn't use it bushwacking). I use my Neve as a 3 season around town jacket. I sometimes use my icefall for hiking, and use it as an around town late spring, summer and very early fall jacket. You can extend the range of the Icefall by using a light windshirt under it to slow evaporative cooling and give you much more wind-resistance. The Icefall does breathe very well, so if you're using it in dry weather, it will be very comfortable in high exertion activity, like fast hiking. Another plus - merino softshells fight off stink 10x better than any softshell with synthetic knit on the inside, like capiline.
Lightest merino softshell combo I like - my merino baselayer (Ibex pacifica or woolies about 7 ounces) plus my 3 ounce windshirt (Patagonia Houdini). I think a great, light softshell or winter shirt combo would be a light merino layer laminated to a light windshirt layer. Anyone ever see anything like this?