That is all very reasonable. I just want to say that I recently picked up NotePerformer and I’m blown away by it. I will be using that almost exclusively for my work with Dorico. If a certain project needs to get mocked up more elaborately with VSL or whatever, I will export it to my DAW and work on it there outside of the notational domain. I understand that Dorico has its own goals, as it should, but hopefully NotePerformer and Dorico will be able to synergistically come together to resolve the couple of issues the exist to make the experience seamless. Right now, Finale is even less seamless then Dorico, but Sibelius apparently has the best integration with it for whatever the reason. NotePerformer might be the perfect orchestral sound source for working with a notational product to hear the results as notated. For my own workflow, I will be using NotePerformer through most phases of composition. However, for final mockup to distribute, if needed, I will export project to DAW and use VSL or other libraries, with all the tools in the DAW to craft the best mockup I can.
The simple truth is that articulation handling is right now a very moving target. All of the DAW’s handle it differently, some don’t handle it at all. The various sample libraries all handle things differently, in some cases substantially so. There are some interesting challenges to deal with when you start digging into it, and it gets even more complicated once you start combining different sample libraries in one project. People need to be realistic about an expectation that they will be able to get NotePerformer-like automatic articulation handling with all the different sample libraries out there, at least not any time soon. NotePerformer is simple the best alternative at the moment for automatic score reproduction without having to fiddle around with articulation management.
I think it would be good if Dorico at least duplicated the functionality entirely of Cubase expression maps. Articulation handling will evolve in Cubase and Dorico along with it, but people need to realize, that there is a lot of fiddling often, even with expression maps. If you need a top quality mock up, then that is worth doing. If you just need quick and easy score playback that sounds something close to what you intend, then NotePerformer with Dorico is, IMHO, the way to go for the foreseeable future. Notion also has done a pretty decent job with this, but not as good as NotePerformer and Notion is not that greatest notational program either.