Thanks for the response, Chris.
I agree that Vue and React have less API surface area, but that is because they are mostly focused on rendering while Angular has more of an “all-in-one” philosophy. If you have a large, enterprise web application you are going to have a lot of APIs one way or another (i.e. either React + a bunch of other libraries or Angular).
As for the leaky abstractions, I honestly think this point gets way too blown out of proportion. When Angular 2 first came out, what you are referring to was pretty bad, but it has approved a lot since then and will continue to do so over time. For example, in the early days, I ran into a bunch of Zone issues but I haven’t hardly anything for months (either in my own project or issues popping up on Gitter). The syntax is a matter of taste and completely non-issue for most Angular developers, especially with the awesome Angular Language service which does type checking within your template. AoT is probably the biggest leaky abstraction right now and it is what most proves your point. However, this continues to improve with each release. And, btw, AoT is a trade off since there are a lot of benefits to pre-compiling your application (i.e. size reduction, better performance).
As far as the learning curve, the current Angular CLI is really, really good. It essentially removes the need to understand many of the low level details of Angular for simple apps.
Look…I think there is a lot of good criticism in this article and your comment, but taking a step back there is one underlying insinuation that I strongly disagree with. Namely, that one framework is objectively inferior to another. There are many amazing developers that work with both React and Angular, but prefer working with Angular on some or all of their projects (ex. Minko Gechev, Tero Parviainen, PatrickJS). So, my main point is that the attitude should more be along the lines of “all these frameworks are great, but here is why this one is best for me”. In other words, a realization that there are people in the world that understand the differences between React and Angular, but prefer Angular.
Also, it would be nice to see an appreciation of the fact that because the philosophies of React and Angular are different, it actually helps each one drive innovation in the other. For example, Matias Niemela has been doing amazing work on Angular animations for years that often gets duplicated in other non-Angular animation libraries. Ember has adopted some of the concepts from Angular AoT. Ever since I helped create Angular Universal, the React team has placed a much bigger emphasis on server rendering (people may not remember this, but some of the React core team was pretty down on server rendering for some time).