In practise, the more I have read, the more I have come to realise that the Ash’arees are merely a less consisten version of the Mu’tazila, esp with regards to Allah’s attributes
This is a pity, tell me, which book did you study under a qualified Asħˆariyy teacher to understand what they say? I suspect the answer is "none."
Your inclination towards the Muˆtazilah is because they, like you, believe that Aļļaah’s Speech is something that He brings into existence according to specification. The only difference is that you called this "emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification" an "uncreated attribute," whereas the Muˆtazilah called this very same "emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification" a "created non-attribute." You only differ about what to call it, and that is not a real difference, and thus not what the Salaf were concerned about. The Salaf therefore, would have treated you like they treated the Muˆtazilah. See: Wakiiˆ on those who say “the Qur’aan is created.”