Performance is one of the top two complaints I see about Bubble (the other being mobile exporting), and many of the criticisms are valid. Many get dismissed, however, because folks go about raising their concerns the wrong way.
Your post is constructed well and comes from a good place, so I’m more inclined to weigh in. The performance of Bubble has never been an issue for me, but I also only scope projects within the boundaries that I think Bubble excels in. I see Bubble as one tool, not as THE tool. Some apps are just not gonna work well with the limitations of the platform, and I’ve come to accept it.
I used to point people to Bubble for anything, but I think that’s a bit of a disservice to both the builders and the Bubble team. Bubble is really solid for CRUD style apps, and since most of my projects fall into that category, I’m fine with it. Others, of course, not so much.
I don’t know how much better a dedicated plan may be. I’d love to see some folks on a dedicated plan weigh in on the matter, since the biggest performance issue is DB loading speed, and I don’t know how much “capacity” actually helps with that.
So, my TL;DR is that Bubble is a fantastic tool for some jobs, but not all jobs. Real limitations, but very real benefits, too.