More importantly, I feel that it is an argument I feel is off-topic to the scope of this thread.
Not entirely. When you've started to use the word "VST" you've leaved all what are trackers essentially about (sample manipulating) and started to speak about sequencer functionality. I will quote Harbinger too:
Personally i'd rather be sequencing, but one thing i will never be able to do with a sequencer is cut, slice, loop, pitch-bend, and otherwise grope any sample on-the-fly i want into a song. Trackers can do this.
What we're forgetting that these tracker features are basically a hard coded automation hex codes, for the tracker's internal sampler control. If you're getting a decent sampler VST, you will be able to do these as well in any sequencer, even a lot more with more professional products, and i've seen really cool ones where trackers cant get near of, even with their strong point, sampler functionality.
You have maybe learned all the hex codes for the sampler manipulation, but basically what you really need is a redesigned automation system, that makes the whole sound manipulation even easier and faster than learning and controlling merely the tracker sampler with internal fixed hex automation codes. Think about it, how many parts of the sounds can you control in a channel at a time? Struggling with 1 (or two if we include the volume bar as a workaround, or some mixed tracker fx)? Surely that is nowhere even close enough. If every single (sampler, VSTi, vst) control has it's own unique "bar" on demand, and that automation can be setup, accessed and manipulated with a single left or right click to the chosen control (as we have on advanced trackers and sequencers), it would be a much more sophisticated and easier way to manipulate any given aspect of the sound of effect. It will able you to overview every control's value easily also, you wouldn't think anymore about Fxx/Exx or any codes (and their limitations) anymore, but control every single state of any given midicc at your will.
I'm trying to say that these old hex effects are really holding the trackers back and while you think it will make it fast to work, they are limiting you to a certain closed system, and to use them only, while throwing every other controls away. With redesigned, proper automation system you would not only work faster, but you can forget all the limitations that the old controls and channel fx gave you. The "closed" hard fixed fx codes are essentially wrong approach, each of those tracker sampler commands should be controlled separately with midi automation too, like the rest.