I understand feeling disappointed. Change is always hard, and Samsung hasn’t handled this change in the way that would be the easiest for users, even power users, to understand.
It’s also very reasonable to feel disappointed with matter, which has not met its goals of ease of research and use, either. At least so far. Lots of discussion of that in the following thread, if you’re interested:
Matter - smart home connectivity standard (formerly Project CHIP)
All of that said, matter does not require that you buy a bunch of new hubs. Devices that use either matter over Wi-Fi or matter over thread are individually certified to the matter standard and don’t require any extra hubs at all. They will work locally as long as you have a SmartThings/Aeotec hub. And they will work out of the box with no custom code, another improvement.
You will need to have one “thread border router” in your home if you are going to use thread devices, but the smartthings/Aeotec hub, the smartthings station, and the built-in hubs/dongles for the Samsung big ticket devices already have that included. So it’s only if you only have a smartthings V2 that that issue would even come up, and since there are thread border routers built into many smart speakers, you may not even need anything extra for that.
FAQ: What do I need to add a Matter device to the SmartThings app? Do I need a bridge router device?
So, when would you need an extra hub from another company? Only if they are not individually certifying their end devices for matter, but rather bridging them through a hub. But there will be lots of competing devices from other brands that don’t need that method.
And sometimes it will be up to you how you choose to do the integration. For example, aqara Zigbee devices can either be connected directly to a SmartThings/Aeotec hub, or imported through matter by connecting them to one of their own hubs which can act as a “matter bridge.” Connecting them through their own hub will probably be a little easier and will not require any custom code, but you still have the option to do it the other way.
So… Quite a few people are feeling disappointed with smartthings right now, and many people, including me, are feeling disappointed with the way the matter rollout has been handled by the third-party standards organization, and those are both legitimate concerns. But there shouldn’t be anything in either of those, or in the combination of them, that requires you to buy a bunch of expensive new hubs.
Which specific devices were you concerned about?