Does it matter to know the internal of each libraries. Package manager makes life easier by abstracting the process of downloading, unpacking and bootstraping third-party libs. And NPM has done a splendid job.
And because front-end world has a great deal more problems to solve than back-end world, more NPM packages are published daily, which is not a bad thing at all.
I found that working with front-end tools give me pleasant experience, because almost every tools can be found and replace easily. Can you elaborate on why front-end development is a pain in the ass? What are the alternatives?