It seems like I should have elaborated more on that part.
When I picked up Arch, I thought of it as some kind of "build your own linux" system.
I certainly liked that you could manage it on the level of individual programs.
Instead of booting to a black screen after an update, I would set up the bootloader myself and could continue meddling with it, when it did not work as intended.
Unfortunately Arch builds most of its packages against "bloatware" (systemd, glibc), with a few badly supported alternatives in the AUR.
When I recognized this, I saw 2 options:
Use a more transparent OS (gentoo, smgl, suckless base with pkgsrc),
or use an OS with sane defaults (OpenBSD, alpine).
I mostly do the latter (because I always fail at the former ;-)