You don't have to buy an "OV-chipkaart" (public transport chip card) to get anywhere by train. If you use the train only incidentally, you can buy a paper ticket with a chip on it. You have to check in and out with it, but for the rest it's the same limited functionality.
The chipcard has been met with criticism since its inception, though. Aside from the usual privacy concerns, it's poorly implemented. You have to check in and out between different transport companies, for example. And of course the companies rake in the money because the tariffs are, in practice, higher than the traditional way. And a lot of people forget to check out, so they pay the full deposit (20 euro for the train) because the companies make it hard to get the money back.
I'm looking forward to using my ATM card with a NFC chip on it for train travel. That way I don't have to top up or have unused, unreachable money on my card. It's not very anonymous, but the current anonymous card isn't 100% anon either if you top it up with an ATM card or credit card, anyway.