I don't think there is one solution that is "best and most cost-effective".
Someone on this forum posted a dark chrome smaller H was a direct replacement which in my opinion is the best option. I think it was reported to be a dark chrome H off a Civic. The most cost-effective would be to Plastidip your stock H.
Why does Honda use a timing belt for the 3.5-liter V-6 and not a chain? Other manufacturers of V-6's use chain. Is it because the engine can obtain "silky smooth power and quicker acceleration" with a belt vs. a chain? I have 256K miles on my 2006 3.5L VTECH. The cost and my time to change...
I don't think I've ever seen an ad for the Ridgeline. I've been driving small pickups all my life, and I never knew Honda even made one. I got my 2019 after seeing a great review in Consumer Reports. Why do you suppose it is that Honda doesn't push the Ridgeline?