Have you realized how much has happened between version 2.0 and 2.2.20? We have been surprised by many essential features. Then came version 2.2.10 with the apparently tiny things like the F key for flipping items or the possibility to define keys for showing or hiding accidentals. Huge timesavers!
The version history of Dorico 3 makes clear how the condensing feature will be developed further. You can’t only use it for big scores, but also let’s say for choral reductions (with some workarounds like adding a bass clef to the tenor voice and transposing it down one octave, but as far as I remember this will be improved too).
I am also waiting for some features and improvements, but I think it’s absolutely clear that not everything can come at once.
For me personally it was absolutely worth spending the 99 bucks for version 2 and the same now for version 3. Sad about §49? Not at all. It’s well spent money, and from nothing, nothing will come.
Very simple: Check “Making notes” in the Dorico blog from time to time and decide what you can use and what is irrelevant to you.