Affordability of unit directly affects its combat effectiveness, because in infantry case, field presence of a unit is quite important, cost and timing influence that effectiveness.
This is why penals are alright unit, but dead as meta one, while PFs are being spammed everywhere above 1v1.
Since you don't start with premade army matching opponents premade army for the pop and cost, but need to field it first, you have to take into account timing, cost and what opponent will have on field as well.
Penals will ALWAYS be outnumbered, they will win 1v1 engagements, but they aren't going to be engaging like that past first 2-3 minutes, because its impossible to field enough of them.
And, again, we've made a full circle, where T-70 comes to the rescue, balancing that out in mid game.
But i keep seeing you make the argument that Penals "Have no AI upgrade" and that "Their Vet accuracy doesnt help them!".
We can agree that Penals need to be looked at in the affordability department (But if they win 1-on-1 easily Vs Volks and Grens they can't be near the same price as either, especially considering they require no Muni investment to be at maximum power)
Penals need a niche before we can really consider just making them cheaper. They're good at all ranges. Soviets need work, both buffing and nerfing.