Mixed feelings about this -full disclosure, I am a recruiter. I have a lot of thoughts on this piece, but only want to try and get across a couple of initial opinions. Some of this is good advice, but understand, recruiters and HR are usually not the people who make the decision about how much to offer -a lot of that comes down to how well a candidate interviews, and how much influence a Hiring Manager has. Understand recruiters are expected to know what a candidate makes and wants. When somebody doesn’t answer my direct questions, whether it be about salary or anything else, often times I do not move the person forward in the interview process. (for many reasons besides the ones I am addressing here).
When people do not answer how much they make or want to make, they are perceived as being difficult and mercenary. I usually decline to bring through the interview process, because like you said -not going to waste the time of the managers and teams, only to have them shop around the offer, or decline it because we didn’t know they needed their own private island.
People reading this and taking it to heart, really need to be confident they are the top 10% of their field, have a skill that very few people world-wide have, or are a sought after, well-known executive. Candidates who go with the highest bidder, make sure that money truly is the most important thing to you in your job search.
Also, I often tell people when they are underpaid per where the market is at, so not every interview has to be a power struggle.