"And a sizable number are extremely favourable of it. "
So the sizable number of people who agree with us should kowtow to the sizable number of people who agree with you because...well, because what, exactly? You have a bigger stick?
"Which may explain why Fedora, Arch, Gentoo, RHEL, OpenSUSE, Debian and Ubuntu all support or are in the process of supporting it."
No, they're in the process of supporting it because nobody in the Linux world has the financial resources to fight Red Hat on this. Nobody. Red Hat has played this very well; so many components are already dependent on systemd that maintaining shims or creating alternatives is a massively financially burdensome project to undertake.
Worse, the various teams under Red Hat's control seem to be planning, one by one to "integrate" with some level of dependency upon systemd. So the number of projects that have to be worked around, shimed or outright replaced is going up.
If you want a GUI on your Linux distro at all, you're pretty much fucked already. And it won't be long before those looking for a server OS are going to have to clean fork GNU/Linux away from systemd/Linux in order to keep free of it.
Any distro that wants to be commercially viable does what Red Hat says and hopes Red Hat doesn't turn their eye upon them and try to put them out of business. And that's the end of it today; Red Hat controls too much. Nobody else has any real leverage.
Linux functioned because no one group ever accumulated too much power, so relying on eachother's good will was backed by some plainly pragmatic reasons why everyone had to cooperate. That's gone now, and with it both the presumption and any pretense of goodwill.
Commercial interests are all that matter int he systemd/Linux ecosystem.
"So what? Those are all interrelated things."
Do one thing and do it well. The reason being not only to avoid gigantic monolithic entities with 2M lines of code, but so that no one person or group gains lock-in class control of the ecosystem.
"It's not the first time this sort of thing has happened in the world of Linux."
Yes, it is. Never before has an entity other than the kernel team held so much power that it amounts to a minimum of a veto, more realistically the final word on what will happen within the ecosystem. Through systemd's growing scope and lock-in, Red Hat holds that power They control Poettering and he controls systemd. Red Hat also control a number of other critical projects, many - most- of which are now or have announced plans to become reliant upon systemd.
Nobody has had this kind of power over the Linux community before. Not even the X team.
"if you don't like it, use a dist which does it the old way."
Which is what people are saying they will do, and advising others to do. So why get your panties in a bunch about it? People are allowed some semblance of choice and/or freedom, but only so long as they don't exercise it in public or attempt to make their case to others?
Man, I hope noone in your family every comes out of the closet. Your inability to accept that other people may value things that you don't - and may not value things that you do - would probably make that a pretty brutal affair.