First off, my thanks to The CEO who offered me a new set of pirate implants in the comments to my previous post (to replace the set I so foolishly lost being afk and writing a blog post) at a very reasonable price. Very reasonable. My sincere thanks.
Secondly, on the topic of implants, my usual go-to set has not much changed since a couple years ago (though I now use a Zor's Custom Hyper-Link in slot 8). 99% of the time I'm flying with these (plus the new CA-1 and CA-2 in slots 1 and 2 that help tremendously with fitting). This set is reasonably priced and gives worthwhile advantages both offensively and defensively.
I don't generally fly with fancy Slaves or Snake implants. When I'm looking for a bit more adrenalin I'll stick them in and then start to panic when my ship comes close to structure. The added thrill is fun. And my record at escaping with my pod in low sec is pretty good. I get a lot of practice. A lot.
As to the CA-1 and CA-2 implants that are currently selling for upwards of 40 million each - I managed to purchase a bunch of them by putting up buy orders in out of the way backwater regions for 3-6 million. People that received them as a CCP gift and had no use for them would sometimes just sell them rather than sort out a more profitable option (try figuring out out to get to market from the Solitude region for instance...). Since there were no other buy orders in these out of the way regions, my offer was the best they could get.
Thanks again to The CEO. Much appreciated.