This point landed particularly hard, especially after spending more than an hour figuring out why my source maps were no longer working:
Ultimately, the problem is that by choosing React (and inherently JSX), you’ve unwittingly opted into a confusing nest of build tools, boilerplate, linters, & time-sinks to deal with before you ever get to create anything.
I don't really feel like I have an in depth understanding of the stuff going under the hood of create-react-app, but it seemed to me that my project wasn't doing anything particularly weird to warrant this length open-heart surgery!
Additionally, I don't feel like gaining the skills to work better with the under the hood magic in React is worth the time, or fun, and kind of goes against the ethos of the whole setup supposedly being easy to work with.
In the end the problem was fixed by brutish cave man coding - I created a new project and copied the source code directory from the old project to the new, and installed packages and then it worked. Sigh. I feel a twinge of embarrassment admitting I fixed the problem this way, but I really don't think it's particularly uncommon!
I do like how easy and expressive React is, and I still think it is obviously a choice to consider for apps with a lot of dynamic content - for more reasons than just that it's easy to find people who code in it - but I will be looking forward to jumping ship ASAP in the future when the above problems in coding experience can somehow be fixed!