sorry this is dragging itself out on you! I hope your perseverance will reward you with good solid answers. There are so many physical activities you can do without immediate pain now, you're bound to come to a good conclusion.
My hips are nearly 10 and 6, and on the younger one I developed something that matches the description of meralgia paresthetica at dermnetnz.org. I have a big numb patch, no real pain or sensitivity (it's numb lol) and occasional intense itching, at which time the skin definitely feels me scratching, go figure. Neither the Mayo Clinic nor Johns Hopkins' websites mention the itching. The symptoms started about 18 months post-op. I manage this mostly by forgetting about it until it itches...I also have a numb patch on the other side, much smaller. I just live with that. Why not if it doesn't bother me at all...
I also have had symptoms matching the description of bursitis in both hips, which started well before arthritis reared its unwelcome head. I have never sought treatment; I manage it with bedding that suits me beautifully.
I also have something on both sides that matches the description on here of IT Band problems. I manage that with a Tiger Tail foam roller.
None of this is causing me to think that I haven't got recovery from my THR. Nobody promised I'd be better than I was before I needed hip replacement. I've had other major surgeries, and I've had a tiny minor surgery to cause me the need for major surgery 40+ years later! In all fairness, on that one, the original surgeon, when I asked him if he'd moved my belly button, replied ( laughing in a friendly way), maybe he had and he'd most likely given me a hernia in my future. He was quite the prophet. Was the original surgery a failure? No, I healed quickly and all the doctors involved had the information they needed to proceed. After that, my body was in charge, as is pretty much the case for THR's extended recovery period. Listen to your body, we advise here. Your body will most likely reward you handsomely.
All these stories are to illustrate the point that "recovery can be subjective", exactly as you mentioned. It is also a very
relative term. When I was in my 50's, I was already managing two chronic conditions which may appear to be"cured", but which in fact take a whole lot more of my daily thinking energy than all my surgeries put together. Many make it to later middle and even old age with no detrimental health symptoms, and a major surgery is the first run-in they've had with "the aging body". This can be quite the eye-opener. While I can't recommend major surgery in your 20's to anybody, it has certainly been a baseline upon which to peg my own attitude!
has an excellent point, that specialists focus on their specialty to the exclusion of almost all else. Given my life situation, I'm not sure I'd want that any different.
Thus endeth the sermon...