I have top tier leather (24 AC) with additional AC bonus of 24. To expert it only takes 9 points
Otoh, I have governor's Armour - nice artefact with inherent 50% only dmg from all missilies. Besides, GM Chain reduced by 33% all physical dmg and with a solo toon it might be a HUGE difference (life vs death sometimes).
But to grandmaster chain you need 54 points...a few levels in bow.
Wel, maybe I will GM Chain after all (acting on your experience too)
I have collected all horseshoes and 8 genie lamps so many extra skill points