Now pyramiding seemed to work better for quicker gains, thus my not understanding your bad rap on them. I pyramid the weights up like most doing 12-15 reps at the top down to 5-6 reps sometimes lower when feeling exceptional that day. I think the key is in the progression, which many falter. Each subsequent workout my top set would have more weight then the previous workout with whatever reps I could get, not trying necessarily to beat the previous workout because the weight was more. So you are just pyramiding up regularly trying more top end weight, or the same as previous if you are not feeling up to it, but still steadily attempting more weight in the final set for whatever reps over the long run.
In terms of actual gains, depending on the factors listed above, maybe 12-15 lbs. of muscle, 15 lbs. being on the high end. This assumes you are natural, by the way. Drugs are a personal choice, but my experience is as a natural bodybuilder, so I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about how steroids affect your gains. Having said that, it makes sense to at least be aware of what they are and what they do, purely from a knowledge standpoint. There are enough knowledge resources available on line that you can learn about them if you choose to pursue that option.