This is true, but all of these are significantly cheaper than a tutor in the long run, especially if you get lifetime plans, and for me, they are more engaging, because the exercises/practices are interactive and unlike every tutor I’ve ever had in any language, they don’t rely on textbooks. If I have to use a textbook, I mostly prefer using it on my own. I think tutors are best used maybe once a week to answer questions and help clarify nuance, not for actual lessons. Kind of like how weekly seminars work in college.
As for DL being free, this is not surprising. I’d be astonished if they had the gall to charge people for it. You do get what you pay for, after all.
Also, we are a community of people who have largely shown a willingness to pay for quality products, so I think suggesting alternatives, even if they are paid, is not a problem on here.
I do agree with this. I will say this though, the combination of shortcomings that you listed does seem like a deal breaker if you put the Stories aside.