You are a maker therefore it is easy to use any hardware. A software engineer would not know where to start and after blowing a couple of Pis would give up (no disrespect for softies I have done it myself). Makers and softies have very different perspectives and capabilities when out of their comfort zone. I agree that when you try and put intensive I/O, GUI and control it takes the top end device to handle it. When you dig into why you find enormous js libraries when perhaps all you used them for is to format a date or something. I would use a Pi 4 with 7" touch screen as a main HA controller with battery backup etc and Zeros as remote I/O. Thermocouples for flexible cheap long distance temperature input and 20317 as port expanders.
With respect that is how most makers would perceive the situation. A maker can see hardware alternatives but may struggle to analyse why the software is consuming too many resources and a softy has the opposite problem how can they swap out the hardware without breaking things.
The Pi is first and foremost an educational tool so it will focus on ease of use (python) and to address the overkill of a Pi4 there is the Zero. So it must be made easy for its students hence my suggestion for some hardware specific nodes in NR using the existing C library so as not to pull performance down.
This is the price of convenience and ease of use. But it must leave a door open for softies to do hardware easily. I also believe that it would be good for non softies if nodes could indicate the level of resource burden they carry with them. I am sure that many js nodes have been build without any regard to performance and efficiency.