I am nowhere near an expert, but as someone who uses Linux everyday (Ubuntu. So what?), I have to say Pulse doesn't give me much trouble. It's annoying that I have to edit a conf file to set up my 5.1 audio channel map, LFE remixing, and resampling rate, but after that, all I have to do is adjust my volume in alsamixer and call it a day. Hardly a catastrophe.
Systemd, on the other hand, I agree with in theory: I agree the boot process should be handled by daemons that dynamically load and unload what is needed. It should have been that way from the beginning. A simple script, I suppose, could do the job too, but it's 'dirtier', and seems rather ... hacky.
However, systemd's tentacles have now begun to dig themselves into other parts of the system and that, to me, is wrong. It should handle booting and dynamically unloaded/loading modules that are needed. That's it. Why does it need a console? Debugging purposes? That can be done with the Terminal we already have.
TL;DR: Systemd's roots are growing too big for the pot.