Bitcoin Core tries to connect to 8 nodes by default. How many does Geth attempt to connect to for the
eth protocol (normal network gossip)? Is there a set number in the first place?
Geth attempts to connect to 25 peers by default, as stated on the CLI commands page.
This can be changed with:
--maxpeers value Maximum number of network peers (network disabled if set to 0) (default: 25)