Re: This may solve my procrastination
You can use devuan etc as a good interim solution and just swap one or two of them to *bsd to get a feel for it. Its worth doing because there's a chance in future that upstream changes will force the systemd-free distro's into abandoning their resistance.
*bsd is actually pretty close a experience with the ports enabled, just the occasional thing slightly different. Flags, syntax etc, just enough to trip you up at first but not enough to be worth loosing sleep over. People see my laptop and don't even realize its bsd underneath.
If you have to have stuff that has a hard dependancy on a certain os/version for support, that's what virutal machines are for. Its a shame that my vm host now has linux vm's in amongst the more usual suspects but that's how life goes.