While I agree to many of your points, the parameters where F18 inferior are no less important
1. Thrust to weight (As per wiki of 0.93 the lowest in MMRCA category)
2. Climb Rate
3. Max Speed
From it's configurations to me it seems more of a bomb truck and less of an A2A fighter. There are other links like https://defenseissues.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/comparing-modern-western-fighters/
which tell enough about the teens.
1. Being a heavy twin engine plane I doubt it's fuel consumption will be so less that we will recover the cost of acquiring a new fighter, setting up production lines and maintenance costs anytime soon (in the light of recent suppressed oil prices too).
2. Regarding availability rate argument that is thrown: Shouldn't we apply ourselves to sort that out rather than creating for future air museums of aviation history.
3. Now regarding the reliance on Russia, I would place my bets on a country that has supported us in past, still supports it's allies as compared to finding a new date esp the one who has a history of one night stands. US has history of ditching it's allies whenever it suits them or the congress bans the funding.
Just my one old paisa
The F-18E/F as an offer was no doubt technically inferior to the Rafale and Typhoon as evaluated however there are plenty of low-risk ways to cover that. The EPE engine improves the Thrust to Weight Ratio and with it performance (20% improvement in thrust). It was as a part of the bid back in the MMRCA, but obviously wasn't evaluated, and it will be in play for all future Boeing offers internationally since its a question of WHEN and not IF with that engine program, and I suspect it would be a USN line item next year. EPE/EDE changes are all retrofittable onto existing GEF414's and in fact GE has over the last 3 or so years managed to demonstrate even further improvements that are outside the EDE/EPE because those would require new engines as opposed to component replacement as in the case of EPE/EDE. The Next block of the AN/APG-79 radar, adds EA/EW and other capabilities (now that the current block completely overhauls radar processors to support future mission system upgrades) currently found in the F-22 and F-35, and currently lacking in the Rafale for example (and planned for the Typhoon in the 2020's) and the radar is larger than the Rafale's.
There are now 2 EW suits available, with a third, totally brand new one being developed, technology from which could be leveraged into the program if a customer so wishes (Same vendor). The IRST as offered for international customers is now fully integrated into the airframe, while in the case of the Rafale it is non-existent at least as it has been delivered to current customers (France and Egypt). Both the AIm-120C7 and the C5 have received ECCM upgrades (Updates that the Delta variant only gets in a couple of years for the inventory), and the Aim-9X Block II (available now) and Block II+ will be available at the time of future delivery to any customer. ASRAAM is also available. If you want to convert it into a longer range strike fighter, you can add CFT's (already flown), a weapons pod etc to it and it has dramatically improved mission radius. It also comes with the most cost effective and comprehensive PGM suite compared to the other competing western fighters.
It obviously did not do as well ( as evaluated ) compared to the two Euro birds, but if there is even the slightest chance for it to get a look it will be because the Rafale as a procurement would be unaffordable in the numbers the IAF demands, particularly negotiating for domestic production under MII. Otherwise, I agree as far as the evaluations and MMRCA goes the Rafale and Typhoon were the winners but that means little if you can't acquire as many to fulfill the force structure needs of the IAF and you want a hedge against Russian dependency given more MKI's will likely be acquired, and so would the FGFA.
Both the F-18 and F-16 have little chance, the F-16 has pretty much ZERO chance but the longer the Rafale deal is delayed, and the ultimate price paid may just force the MOD to look at other choices on offer if they want a western fighter as part of the Make in India policy. Between the Typhoon, Gripen and the Shornet, I'd go with the latter any day if the political issues can be hammered out (and these are likely to be very tough, hence my skepticism when it comes to India operating US fighters) since the Typhoon isn't likely to be any cheaper than the Rafale, and the Gripen is essentially an MK2-LCA with western sub-systems and a US engine and given that it in 'E/NG' variant is still very much a developmental program - will be expensive.