Hmm, well, I hadn't really heard of the debate before (despite being a long time Debian user), but this now explains why my desktop and laptop both refused to boot sometime earlier this year after a more or less standard upgrade (one runs SID, the other Jessie). Removing systemd on both got them working again. I just put it down to systemd being something new which was trickling in through unstable and wasn't really going into final production for years.
I guess unless Debian manages to recover from this gaffe I'll be cross-grading to Devuan. The one great thing about *nix is that it's usually possibly to work out what's going on and fix it. Binary logs and opaque monolithic pieces of software are not conducive to that.
Oh, and despite systemvinit, my machines boot up (to lightdm's login, yes, I ditched Gnome when the Gnome3 abomination was enforced) quicker than the BIOS POSTs complete, so I'm not sure there's much that can improve on that.. but yes, they both boot from SSD's. Still, so does Windows 7, and that still takes half an age despite all the boot time optimisations which have apparently been put into it.