Essentially a fire wielding monkey.
These are good points. I’d only point out that I live at 6000’ feet and wheel up to 8000’. I take it down to Moab and get out on the rocks. If it stalls, it’s generally my fault. The HEI is probably another pat of the equation, it just plain works. The real advantage, though, is that parts are everywhere and their dirt cheap.
The quadrajet is a great carb, but it’s no FI. My point is you said you want simple, carbs are infinitely simpler than any FI. That’s just my opinion, your experience may vary. In full disclosure, I’m switching to an ls- once I spend the coin on all the bits and pieces. I mean everything I said about the quadrajet/HEI combo and that’s the only thing slowing me down from the swap. But the siren call is in my ear...
A carb sure is an easy solution. I usually wheel up to 13000 feet on a lot of the passes I do. With dirt bikes, which is the only carbs I've ever run up that high, you start to feel them run rich, loose power, and want to start to die. I have them jetted for around 9-10k feet. God forbid if you stall one one those and have the joy of starting it flooded. I would assume it would be pretty much the same for a cruiser, as the carbs all pretty much work the same. Its also the reason I like the 350 swaps, as the 2fs dont have much power to begin with, and you just keep loosing it as you climb. I would love to have a stock drivetrain, but its not super practical up here.