I fed your JustShift solution (a cute bit of lateral thinking :), into my benchmark and on my hardware it is a tad slower than shift&and:
Shift&and took: 0.000000611130 seconds
justshift took: 0.000000651048 seconds
Lookup took: 0.000000488745 seconds
Lookup2 took: 0.000000706896 seconds
(un)pack took: 0.000007464467 seconds
I was a bit surprised by that as both shift & and are designated as single clock operations on my cpu. I guess the difference is in the perl operations that overlay them.
I follow your drift regarding the effect that assignment and stack handling can have on a benchmark of this nature; but the values are re-used several times through the rest of the body of the inner loop, so the assignment is a constant factor that I've chosen to exclude.
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