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Regarding first entry and place of longest stay for visa

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Hello people, how're you all doing?

I was wondering regarding the Schengen visa, if my trip constituted something like 5 days each in 3 countries (one of which will be my initial point of entry) then around 12 days each for another 3 countries towards the tail end of the trip, to which embassy should I apply? Because I know the rules are either the place of longest stay or the point of first entry if all are equal. However with this itinerary, my point of entry is definitely shorter than the last 3 countries, but those 3 are equal in terms of duration. Do I apply in the embassy of my point of first entry? Or do I apply at one of the 3 countries where I will be staying the longest?

P.S. Has anyone tried using sites like Booking.com or Agoda to book hotels? Do embassies accept this as proper hotel reservations? I prefer these sites because they (so far) offer the cheapest rates.

Thank you so much in advance for your help!

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