I hated trackpads for years, until I was forced to use a Magic Trackpad lying around when my mouse broke. After a week I was a convert and I haven't used a mouse for years.
Clicking and dragging with one hand, easy, right clicking easy, precision stuff in Photoshop, etc, no problem.. it's nothing like a typical PC trackpad at all, indeed it should probably be considered an entirely separate type of product.
Of course, different strokes for different folks too! I know people who swear by trackballs or those weird "nipple" things in the middle of IBM laptops and I couldn't get my head around either.
I'm currently switching from OSX to Windows but a hard requirement was the ability to use my MagicTrackpad on Win10 with tap to click and 3 finger drag (both help tremendously with my RSI).
There's a pretty awesome little piece of software called "Magic Trackpad Utilities" that enables that - https://magicutilities.net/magic-trackpad/features
Having said that, driver support is notoriously bad for most touchpads out there. My laptop touchpad feels pretty bad with libinput, for instance. With synaptics driver it's very Magic Trackpad like - and it's a Lenovo laptop from 2013. The same touchpad feels practically unusable on Windows.
Once I discovered that there was no going back. The sheer amount of unnecessary energy wasted on clicking, not to mention the other great gestures.
It used to be a physical click, but recently they’ve switched to the same mechanism used for the last generation(s) of iPhones, where the home button wasn’t actually a button, but gave virtual Taptic feedback.
I use a Windows laptop, too, and between the inferior trackpad and inane use of ctrl (as opposed to command which is comfortably under the thumb) for all modifiers, it just doesn't feel as efficient or ergonomic to me.
- Right click: tap with two fingers.
- Move pointer while button is pressed: quickly tap twice to press button, move finger on trackpad, press a third time to release. (Although, this behavior is not the default and has to be activated in the system settings.)
Personally, I've been using trackpads for 13 years now and I prefer them over mice. I use an external trackpad at home.
- 2 finger swipe left/right: go back and forward
- 3 finger tap: open link in new tab
- 3 finder swipe left/right: move between tabs
- 3 finger swipe up: new tab/window
- 3 finger swipe down: close tab/window
- 4 finger swipe left/right: move between virtual desktops
There are so many other gestures available too. While I prefer having a desktop and a mouse if I'm going to spend hours working on a project...the Apple trackpads are still the best out there imo.
This might be hardware specific implementation though?
The article implies to me he is just frustrated that his workflow is different with a touchpad and is hitting status quo bias
On windows swiping with three fingers will confuse it. However if you rest your three fingers for a moment, left and right swipes are equivalent to alt tab and alt shift tab. Up swipes is a short hand for windows tab. Down swipe minimizes everything. The design is fine, but the implementation isn’t good enough to be useful.
I'll add that my recent laptop history was a series of thinkpads running linux, and most recently a newish MBP. The MBP reminds me how much I hate trackpads. I miss being able to click and drag w/o figuring out a shortcut. I miss not having the cursor shoot off into lala land when I accidentally drag the heel of my hand across the trackpad. I miss not having to move my fingers from the home row in order to move the cursor.
My next laptop will have a trackpoint.
To a degree, it's just what you're used to I guess. I can't control the old trackpoint laptop mice at all accurately, but some of my friends swear by them and can't bear touchpads. But then I've never owned a laptop with one, while they grew up with them.
One suggestion for the author that might make their "click and drag" problems easier - I can double tap (without fully clicking down the touchpad) then keep the second tap held down to have the same effect as moving a mouse with left click held down. I think this is a Gnome/Cinnamon option though, touchpad support and features can vary wildly on Linux, so it's worth looking into different options there (eg libinput vs synaptics).
Ultimately you either need to get used to it, adjust your habits/software, or plug in a mouse. It's easy enough to see why Mac users like the touchpad, since the OS and most of the programs are designed to play well with a touchpad. But it's not surprising that a 30 year old terminal emulator doesn't work so great with them.
My first laptop was an IBM ThinkPad 600X (late '90s) and it only had a trackpoint. I got so used to using it that even 20 years later I still find my hand going to that nubbin when using a laptop that has one (especially Lenovos, I still find the trackpoint implementation on them far superior to what HP or Dell offer). I also use the trackpad if I have to but usually I'll use a regular mouse.
But even so I think the only benefit trackpoints/pads offer is that you can use the laptop in a position where a mouse wouldn't work. Like when having to hold the laptop in one hand, or using in on your lap with no room to operate a mouse. Usability wise I find the mouse better, even enough to defeat my trackpoint-driven nostalgia.
Edit: on the Mac you can tap-and-a-half in order to perform drags without having to keep a finger on the trackpad. The option ("drag lock") is enabled in accessibility settings, and it's the first thing I turn on.
Although you could probably make a good case for Mousen if your neck was beardy enough.
- A XD75 ortholinear keyboard with the default split layout (looks like this but I have relegendable keycaps  )
- A Contour design RollerMouse Red Plus 
- A SwiftPoint ProPoint mouse (the latest addition)
An I am looking forward to maybe replacing the RollerMouse Red with a high end touchpad (at the moment the only existing one is the Apple Magic Trackpad 2)
I find that this setup allows me to more evenly distribute the effort between the hands. I can use arrow/PU/PD/Home/End with either hand and I can mouse with either hand.
The ability to switch hands and easier (though less precise) scrolling is why I usually prefer touchpads.
On the laptop I have a touchpad with buttons both above and below the touchpad but no clicking or force sensing on the touchpad. I have it configured so that all the buttons below are primary click and one of the buttons above is secondary click and tapping is disabled(because no feedback). The goal was the same, make it easy to use with either hand. The old MacBook trackpads that had a button were great at this. Having one button to keep pressed with the thumb made dragging easy on the trackpad.
On a six button touchpad there is potential for chording but since I didn't get used to chording on a mouse I did not try it on a touchpad.
So when I'm using the trackpad to move the pointer and left-click, I'm barely moving. It just looks like I'm quickly drawing tiny circles with my middle finger. Left-click and drag is trivial and accurate.
If you use your forefinger for everything, I could see how a trackpad would be annoying.
If there was any hardware design change I would make, it would be to always have a second set of buttons at the top of the pad (which I have on the thinkpad), but to lower the distance from the bottom to the top of the trackpad to make using the top-right button easier to reach with a completely relaxed splay of the fingers. This would also have the effect of making my style of trackpad usage comfortable for both left and right handers, and the two unused buttons, along the center line of the hand (beneath and above the middle finger) can be mapped to other usages (such as center-click.) I might in that case be tempted to map my compose key to the top-center click.
The big point is that if you use a trackpad with your middle finger, using your pointer to left-click, it's an extremely relaxed position. The minor point is that with this style, trackpads are pretty gigantic, and a one-inch square track "spot" would be more than adequate, and permit a second row of buttons to lie low enough to make right-clicking just as relaxed.
That was a lot to read, I hope I'm explaining this well.
However, the main reason why artists use pads for drawing is purely for the pressure sensitivity, which means we are comparing apples and oranges. As in, 3 axis controllers vs 2 axis. Without that difference, the counterexample would be less striking, and meaningful and objective comparisons can be made. E.g. between mice, joysticks, or handheld thumbpad sticks. For activities which require both rapid movements and accuracy (which could be aiming in an fps or clicking an icon), mice do tend to be objectively superior, on average. I say / concede this as a full time trackball user (due to ergonomic reasons).
My main point being that some things are generalisable, and the no free lunch theorem doesn't mean that each controller is meaningfully best at some niche.
Most people prefer being able to write directly on the screen with a Cintiq or Surface but separate graphics tablets are still popular. A few people learn to draw quite well with a mouse but for most people using a pen works better.
The main thing though is that as much as you are probably irked by people generalising overly much, I'm similarly irked when people go the opposite direction and generalise too little. It tends to come up on many levels, a silly example being /r/fitness's popular opinion about pushups which goes along the lines of "doing a lot of pushups won't make you generally stronger in the least, it just makes you able to do more pushups", which I'd argue is a needless.
Again, I think you have an interesting point which can be considered further. E.g, why are joysticks and yokes more popular (or thought to be superior) for the controls of real planes or sims?. I suspect the fine control, and being able to separate the axes / operate them more independently likely play a big role. Hence, it's likely down to the task, or rather, groupings of similar tasks.
Familiarity may be a factor in using pens but it's a general human trait that a precision grip https://psychologydictionary.org/precision-grip/ works better for certain types of fine detail tasks. It's not just a matter of familiarity with non digital pens.
Perhaps, hand-eye coordianation training that happens in FPS shooters translates to better touchpad usage in normal cases.
(Still, I'm told that trying to competitively play FPS games with it just sucks).
Elecom, though, is making some interesting potential replacements...
That's not exactly a common requirement.
Shift+Insert is already there.
Also many of the things you complain about would be solved if you learnt to use your keyboard instead of using mouse gestures.
I use a large Wacom tablet in touch mode much of the time. It works pretty well with gestures for left click, right click and left drag but you do end up needing alternatives for right drag and middle click and drag because you run out of fingers. That's an adjustment for software like Unity or Blender that use them in their default control setups in Windows for actions that are not suited to keyboard (like camera control).
And then if you're using libinput instead of synaptics, which is the default on most distros now... just forget about it, because whatever you need is simply not implemented yet.
Using Linux on the desktop is a self-inflicted wound, and I can't believe this guy would write such a post saying that "trackpads sucks" when he uses Linux. Doing that is at best dishonest and at worst malicious.
Besides that there is an app Touchegg that lets you do more with the touchpad. But I haven't bothered using it because I am pretty happy with my setup.
So, yes, it's a nightmare.