So Soundlight, are you saying one can only learn to design effectively with 20 dimmers, poor positions, old instruments, and a Crapbox 5000X? I mean, I'm just saying it sounds like that with your post.
Perhaps your gear was better maintained, but I feel like I spend more time with instruments down on the workbench, or trying to make shutter cuts with the ERS from hell than I do doing the design work. (Not that I don't have it better than others! )
Regardless of system, there is no need for us to defend our lighting systems. Who had that quote, I think, on their sig for awhile? "You have to learn every rule before you can break it." Now, of course, there is no rule to designing, but don't you think it is more logical to move into design with a more traditional sense, so you can learn what's going on, before tackling the fun/tricky situations with limited stuff? These gigs will undoubtedly resurface for all of us, they seem to be a fun challenge, but it doesn't mean we have to go silently into the night.