Really enjoyed your coverage of this one; I read the Dying Earth tales some years ago and am coincidentally reading the Demon Princes now. I remember being much more enthusiastic about the Cugel the clever stories than the Turjan ones, partly because the hilariously mannered dialogue is more polished in the Cugel tales and partly because they more satisfyingly (?) address some of the plot and ethical critiques you brought up: the Cugel stories are unashamedly picaresque, with one adventure screen-wiping into another with nary a look back, and the relentless up-and-down beats make that work pretty well. Then, the universe of Cugel is entirely amoral: "The rain it raineth on the just,/ And also on the unjust fella;/ But chiefly on the just, because/ The unjust hath the just's umbrella." Because nearly everyone is terrible and we know it, it's fun to root for Cugel to get his comeuppance and then to root for him to somehow land on his feet before going back to rooting against him.