"systemd isn't just popular because of Red Hat...."
Actually, it's popular because of the so-called "Linux Standards Base", which was a circlejerk between RedHat, Intel, and Microsoft.
The intention was to create "binary-compatibility" within Linux, so that proprietary, closed-source software (and, presumably, malware) would have an easier time. It's completely contrary to what GNU are trying to do, and for this reason, Debian was late (or not invited) to the party.
LSB standardised a lot of things, and it all came from RedHat.
This is why, for example, that MeeGo (which is the abomination that replaced Nokia's Maemo OS) went with RPM instead of DPKG (deb/apt) for package-management, because RPM is specified by the LSB.
That doesn't mean that RPM/Yum is better than DPKG/Apt. It just got standardised by the LSB.
Consequently, Debian and Ubuntu are "non-compliant" until they adopt RPM format. They are fudging it with 'Alien', but eventually Debian will die thanks to the LSB.
Personally, I would love to go back to a time before Systemd. It has given me nothing but problems.
I also, for a while, used Trinity - a backport of KDE 3.5 onto QT4. I stopped using it when KDE4 became stable and usable.
Now that Plasma5 is being forced down my throat, with a shedload of bugs, I would love a backport of KDE4!
Next you'll be telling me to move from X11 to Wayland.