The “ultimate protection” question is interesting from a philosophical standpoint, but I second the sentiment that ease of use and comfort are going to become perhaps even more important, particularly as you gain experience and confidence.
It’s one thing to suit up for an afternoon ride thru the twisties with your buddies. But if a bike is going to be your primary transportation, I have to question how long it’s going to be before you’re dreading all that time to suit up, suit down, clean and stow all your gear — just so you can run out to rent a video (or whatever).
Personally, I know that I need gear that’s easy to use. That means helmet, leather jacket with armor, armored gloves and boots. I add overpants for commuting or superslab. My choices certainly won’t guarantee no injuries, but they do remove any arguments to be worn.
Best of luck with finding your own balance of safety/ease of use.