Turns out you don't really need to give up much besides merchants to run Chalice as an even deck.
I can't say for sure that Golem is worth it if you're not recurring it like with Shadow even decks, but it's been a fun experiment. In matchups where Chalice is too slow, Golem is another source of solid card advantage that's cheap and adds board presence. And of course when you do have Chalice up, it's 4 for a 4/4 that draws three cards.
Matchups have been as expected: positive against control and greedy midrange, unfavored against Stonescar mid and most aggro. Some of the flex slots and wincons could be tweaked to the meta but I think it's always going to be an uphill battle against aggressive decks when you can't run Defiance and your sweeper costs 6.