If any instrument is sitting on a shelf for months you’ll not be able to learn it in an evening, you have to view the A4 as what it is best at (part of that is the CV side, but that can be put aside)
To get the benefit of what it can/should be you have to put in the hours to develop the muscle memory and learn its nuances. Do your own sound design, find your own workflow, see where the flight envelope is and how that relates to your ideas.
Comparing the A4 to a controller plus this or that is imho a bit off the mark - I think if you only look at the destination (some sound ?!) and not the journey (expression/musicality/dexterity) and how you’d do that in the way any instrument is utilised then for me all the fun is missing - the A4 is highly tailored for improvisation and building ideas on the fly and it’s a standalone thing that’ll work for eternity - turn it on, there’s four voices which is way plenty if you know how to get the most from it and it’s there, it’s all there, add in a cv side partner and it’s even better
Getting the best from it takes time, especially sound-wise, but it’s in there and it has its own vibe which I must admit I do like, it’s great for drums sounds (Daren’s Druma proves that) - it can do all sorts too - it may make more sense to someone weaving mono lines than some chord wizard keys dude (who wants that, polyphony is over-rated)
Ultimately, if you don’t put the time in, you only see part of its whole and compare it to comparable products, not vsts - it’s also absolutely not for everyone, but imho it’s probably Elektron’s best instrument although the AR sounds fantastic - ultimately the A4 is self contained and does a bit of everything, needs no samples, it’s all in the black/grey box complete with tidy fx and it can do your bidding if you get to know it well enough, but you need to want to - it takes effort to get the best from it, there’s no short cuts
That’s not to say it’s perfect, I’m ok with the one octave keys, it’s a pity they didn’t add velocity at least to the Mk2 but honestly if you add up all the ways that it can be harnessed to make sound there is nothing like it - look at the way the poly is handled and the neighbour oscillator stuff and so on, it’s a mini modular and way deep - you probably have to enjoy sound design and exploring - sure, turn on a sweetspot synth and you’re there - it’s not the best synth voice I own, it has good flexible and gnarly filters though, but it’s easily the best single package, easily
edit : sorry, an essay wasn’t my intention, just sharing my (A4 fan) perspective on what I believe the A4 is intended to be and is therefore best at being