I have been following this thread for a while. This shouldn’t even a be a topic this hot and controversial.
Considering there are so many step, types, layers of enjoyment.
About having a model, If you only want a show piece, you can gets a pre built model, there used to be many in the pass, usually in 1/48 or 1/72, and repaint them to your liking. Minimal effort.
The traditional model builder, only care about exterior and the ease of assembly. Unlike pre built, they have more optional on what the final product would be.
The builder with interior, due to the insane amount of parts and details, they usually need more time and attention. Also to be more creative to create wreckage scenery or cleaver way to show off the interior. Funny that there are people have some deep interior kit… no one force them to buy such kit.
Less part count = faster. More part count = more options. Take the tracks for the moment, link track? multi part assembly link? moulded link? rubber band track? Band and link?
There are people that we call rivet counters. There is nothing wrong with that, they are invaluable source for information. However, they should be regarded as references, like a living book if you want. They know what, why, when and how on the subject. Not everyone wants the same level of detail as the other and they are not the people to dictate you on what to do. Nevertheless, their dedication deserves respect.
Likewise, reviews have many layer to it.
Open box review = quality of the plastic
Assembled review = review of the overall quality
Build log = review of the build quality
Then you have those who pay for the kits themselves and share the experience. They can be causal builder like most of us, or they can also be professional (making a living out of this hobby).
This is why this hobby has so many forums and place to share. This is why we have a collective experience, why we are here, why we awe, we don’t like rebox with price increase. This is this not a hobby to brag, unlike (for example) those guys on the knives/cutlery bragging about their piece of “super steel” that cost thousands of $$ to the point most of them are too afraid to use.