If you’ve never used OpenHab or any of those other things, ST is far easier, like not even the same plane of existence. I don’t mind basic scripting and playing with multiple systems, strong in linux and windows, so I’m a .001%er. ST pushes that to maybe the next maybe 5% of users that would be interesting in this stuff, SmartApps and customization basically.
Hardware is far less as well. I used to have my always on windows machine running EG and the harmony connector, but random other crap on there would cause the occasional windows glitch and something would hang. The Pi, just running OpenHab and it’s other few things would randomly freeze (not power related) or the Hue bridge software would just randomly stop. Then the Insteon local support might take a dive for a day for no apparent reason.
Now I have the ST hub, Insteon hub, and ironically my FreeNAS box doing a simple 1 minute Pollster request due to the scheduler issues.
If I wasn’t so cheap, I could get more robust hardware (off the Pi), get rid of the crap Insteon hub, but for the money, the ST hub and what I do with it is still very flexible, pretty reliable, and costs pennies, ya know, all things considered.
Edit: Totally agree with you on the unnecessary cloud bs, sure it’s great for a lot of things, but basic functionality, not so much.