but also illuminates how different design decisions and UIs can ultimately enable and/or hinder the user in achieving their goal.
RT is more of an experiment box for interested image algorithm developers and digital photography interested users rather than a fast to learn efficient production tool.
Personally I find it to be a great tool for artistic low volume work and I do all my medium format landscape work in it (with some aid of other post-processing tools when needed), but I fire up Lightroom when I have 1500 images from the latest sports shoot to deal with.
We in the developer group know about the issue that RT allows to do things in multiple ways, RT is not at all as user-friendly as Lightroom. We do strive to make it more user-friendly and take one step at a time, but it will never be as stream-lined as say Lightroom. Developers come and go based on time and interest, each developer has typically interest in some smaller subset functionality and put an effort into that.
Simply put we don't have the resources and continuity to make it a streamlined application as user-friendly as the commercial apps.
I also find it quite interesting from an educational perspective to for example have four different curve types. Few actually know how a contrast curve affects color, but RT can demonstrate this really well. We have standard RGB curve (ie Capture One way), we have Adobe's film-like curve (close but not same to RGB), a more color-neutral weigthed curve and the theoretically neutral luminance curve (but will actually produce a perceptually desaturated result). Likewise we allow selecting different demosaicers, which in a streamlined user-friendly app would be an auto-choice of course.
So if you ask me I actually prefer if we don't make it too user-friendly but instead leave options for the user to experiment with various processing methods. User-friendly means cutting away all but one tool for making a specific task, reduce slider ranges to not include "crazy range", and make many settings automatic. While this would make it more competitive with Lightroom and C1, it would also rob the user of understanding of how digital photography works. RT is "rawer", while commercial tools try to immitate film behaviour.
That said RT can be used quite efficiently, with your own custom profiles and reducing the number of tools you use.
My own pet hate of RT is the default profile which enables auto-levels ("auto tone"), typically works well for high contrast landscape images but sucks for everything else (there's an ongoing debate of replacing it). You can replace that default profile with your own though, which is what I have done, with just a DCP and a curve.
As a Lightroom and C1 owner I enjoy the possibilty to use both Lightroom DCPs and C1 ICCs in RT. For my MF back I use a custom DCP, but when I casually process files from my compact I generally use ICCs from C1 (which I think has better color than Adobe). Note that C1 ICC are designed to be used with a standard (RGB) curve, and Lightroom DCPs with a film-curve if you want to replicate their looks.