Totally withya on this one and one thing that gets me disappointed sometimes is that the update interval for Syn VA mainly is in months while for other Syn frameworks the update interval is nearly every week
although my requirements are pretty much fulfilled by Syn VA. I did try HAL once years ago but it looked like something outta of the 1960s Space Odyssey movie but then I moved to Syn VA for reasons like zero user data collection policy (privacy assurance), free license for individual developers, open plugin system and the fantastic scripting interface via SIML and Bot Studio.
I mainly use it as my smart house interface like for playing music, controlling the sprinklers n all as I rarely get the time to just sit back and chat with it. Compared to the previous version this one's light-years ahead but ya there's been some tradeoffs. Havin been in touch with the core devs the product actually has taken off a lot (franzz, from help and support did disclose names of a number of organizations who have licensed it and are using modified or improved versions in their organizations) and if the roadmap is committed within the next couple of months ima pretty sure it would be a very competitive desktop VA.
Fingers crossed eh