Great rant. Admittedly, I'm a Melda neophyte and still learning the plugins I have. But the more I use them, the more I appreciate how deep these things go. I am still at the "click through the presets then tweak" stage though...
As @sarine alluded to, Melda is a programmer. By that I mean, he re-uses programming objects throughout his plugins. So once you figure out his "method" of doing things, it's lather rinse repeat. i.e. You can generally apply it to the other plugins. Lot's of the plugin pieces are reused.
Here's another aspect that I rarely see mentioned.
BTW, my crappy little i3 CPU can run Melda plugins just fine.
With all of that said, if anyone wants to wade into the Melda universe because of @sarine's expose, here is my 20% Off Referral Code: MELDA2490257 Apply it at checkout. (I get a 10% credit too. Or grab a friend's code and give him the credits.)