Agreed on the fact that they eat dmg like mad, but I've yet to see people shoot my smoke accurately, even in T10 games. I also usually focus on capping the lone cap or ambushing lone dds. It also doesn't matter that literally anything else can pen/cit you. Aside from facing down a Yammy, me rushing a lone ship coming towards me works every time. This includes bbs. I wait for them to shoot, then count the seconds to their reload, time my turn, and torp them. 3 torp hits from an Edinburgh is plenty for crippling a bb, if not taking it down, cuz I'll have been poring AP into their sides long before then. If it's a cruiser, I usually open the distance a bit (cuz I don't wanna get torped). Unlike bbs, I've never seen a Zao or Hindy shoot AP at my rear. I'm either too far way for it to pen effectively or so close that I may as well Banzai them. Worst comes to worst, the T8 and the T10 both go down.
Having had experience with USN dds up to Fletcher, RN CLs handle like a charm. The only difference between an Edin and a Fletcher is that one is slightly slower, is a slightly bigger target, and has a citadel. Other than that, they play pretty much the same. Only one can single-handedly force dds out of cap just by being detected. That one can also be lit up by radar and have a chance of fleeing/rushing/even killing the radar ship. Also no longer at a huge disadvantage at close range vs other cruisers. I play Edin as a support role, charging cap nearest me, even if unsupported. This is with the condition that there is some form of GOOD cover in/sticking into the cap. This is why I prefer spawning C on Mountain Range rather than A or B. So many islands to play with, and short of a concentrated force of multiple ships, I can hold it trivially, whereas any other ship would be hard pressed to do so. Ofc, this also leads to many wthsituations, but usually I come out of those alive, and even if I die, I manage to take at least 1 ship with me.
Edinburgh, especially with her super heal, makes me want to say this:
You can cit me from the front, but can you do it twice or thrice at once? You can nuke me, but can you obliterate me? You can find me, but can you catch me?
RN CLs are the guards that kill off the other assassins. Then they do what they're best at: melting everything with dakka.