i'm not... i'm just giving my thought process and seeing what options are... he didn't recommend the 1.8 but said it would be better to save up for the 1.2... i was just justifying why i didn't think the 1.2 would be a good choice as far as value and quality... thats all. From what i've seen the 1.2, when it does get a great in focus shot, it is really hard to beat... but getting to that shot, for a working photographer on a budget, just doesn't seem worth it, dontcha think?
Not sure what keeper rates most people are getting. But I generally had a pretty high keeper rate with the 85II on my 5D3 either wide open for very close to it. When properly calibrated, there is no reason why the keeper rate should be so low that it would be an issue for a paid photographer.
I have owned the 85/1.8 as well as the 85II and 100L currently. There are obviously many variants with regard to shooting types and scenarios. For me, I would have chosen the 100L over the 85/1.8 any day of the week if we are talking relatively static subject portraits. The aberrations present in the 85/1.8 were plenty and not always that easy to get rid of in post when shooting wide open. Yes, it was decently sharp, but IQ in general was worse than the 100L which btw has IS that more than compensates for the real advantage of the 85/1.8.
If you want what looks vastly different, the 85II or possibly the Sigma 85/1.4 are it. What isn't anything to write home about when it comes to portraiture is the 85/1.8. Is it good enough? For most people, probably. Is it what you want? I have an odd feeling you are definitely trying to convince yourself that the 85II isn't worth it while knowing inside that it is what you ultimately want.
Trust me, 85II on a 5D3 works just fine with regard to AF for portraiture. Don't let that be a reason you choose to go with the 1.8. If the cost is too prohibitive, then fine. But don't try to convince yourself that the 85II isn't worth the money for most of the people that own it because of what "some" people have mumbled on the interwebs.