|What am I doing wrong, or are my expectations wrong?
I think you benchmark is flawed.
You say you have 20_000 random entries, but you only make 2723 queries.
Instead of benchmarking for 3 wallclock seconds (the default, -3), try benchmarking multiples of 20_000 iterations.
After that, I would pre-load entries into the cache, and benchmark retrieval only.
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