Like you, I was equally disappointed with how CBM treated the amiga from a marketing/R&D perspective though I at least had an A500 from sometime arount late '89. I always wanted an A1200 once it was announced, but could never make the numbers stack up. Then CBM went to the wall, then I went to uni and just watched the whole tragedy circus unfold from my first couple years of an EE degree...
I finally picked up a real A1200 a few years ago when a friend gave me his and it lines up nicely with my teen-hood A500 and an A600 which I got for cheap just before the prices went ballistic (thanks Vampire!)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BxxpvfkHj9m/ <- the 3 of them together
I recall debugging a problem on some revs of the 500 that caused problems logging on to either Prestel or TG (cant recall which).
I also sometimes used my Amiga at home to login when I was WFH
The MiST is a nice idea, but until any FPGA implementation can emulate an m68k MMU, I'll be running the real thing. I use my Amiga to compile m68k NetBSD packages.
Catalog files are basically man(ual) pages. They're documentation. Considering the size and cost of modern storage, it wouldn't hurt to install them.