I'm definitely not passing. Passing would mean that I believe partner to have HH in spades, and I trust my partners to not have that.
Between 3D and 2NT, I'll choose 2NT. I want to bring hearts into the picture, partner could well have 5 of them.
Even if you're right about when they come up, it's only half the story. What about the missed opportunities of using that bid for something else? What about the negative inferences (or lack there of) of other bids?
I think these cases are much less quantifiable, and really ...
Eric, what is help ? Is a singleton help? How about xxxx ? How about xxxxx ? The only time asking for help wins is when you find the Q (but not the J). And is partner supposed to move beyond 4♠ with xxxx Qxx xx xxxx ?
This is likely a 17 tricks hand. If partner has a good 5 card major, *maybe* he would have bid it the first time around. The opponents are *likely* to have a 9 card fit, but it's not cast in stone, responder could easily have 3325 ...
At the table, I phased out and bid 4♠, not seeing other real possibilities, and, perhaps subconsciously, tring not to reveal opener's hand further.
Opener had AT JTxx KQJx xxx, making 11 tricks in spades and 12 tricks in diamonds.
The bidding could have went 1NT - 2♥ ...