Devuan is Awesome.
I built many, MANY debian servers in the last decade, and Debian 8 was unstable, crashed, used extra CPU/RAM, just a whole host of issues compared with 6/7.
I'm not sure it was systemd, but the binary log thing was too egregious for me to accept either. Plus, I'm familiar with Puttering's previous work, so....
I'm using Devuan exclusively now, and it is much closer in performance and stability to Debian 6/7 than Debian 8 has been for me. So, I highly recommend you give it a shot.