All things equal, otherwise healthy 50 y/o male: which is a better cholesterol profile, HDL 60 & LDL 120 ~or~ HDL 35 & LDL 40?

Hard to tell. In general a low LDL is good but in these cases sometimes additional advanced testing of somthing called lipoproteins is indicated. It thenlebel of apob containing lipoproteins are elevated then the low HDL level may represent cardiovascular risk. Bottom line is check your doctor or a lipid specialist www. Learnyourlipids. Com.
Lower LDL is better. 35 HDL and 40 LDL is better. While HDL is better to be high and LDL low, overall, when you have a total cholesterol is low, it is better to have a lower LDL over time.