I want just a 'web browser'. What we've got today are network-native application runtimes that happen to run over the web. There are some cases where that's good, but for "reading an article", it's somewhere between "a waste" and "a channel ripe for abuse".
You talk about bookmarks, tabs, history, etc. I rarely use those for articles I see on HN. I use web browsers for a few very distinct use cases. (They just all happen to be delivered over the web because, I don't know, nobody wants to write applications any more.) "Reading an article" doesn't require bookmarks/tabs/history. I read it, and then I'm done. I mostly read HN in Private Browsing specifically so it doesn't litter up my history with some article I only want to see once. I mostly use Reader Mode, when possible, because I don't want any other junk besides the article. A full 2019 web browser for reading an article is a liability, not a feature. I rarely follow any links from them.
Saying that one needs to "configure an ad blocker" to read articles on the internet almost sounds like an admission of failure.
There shouldn't be an "inexorable" drive to make this into a full web browser, any more than there is for an email program. Email programs display HTML and let you click links, too. They are specific to one type of data, and display it using native controls. Nobody is browsing the web in Mail.app. They are browsing the web in their regular browsers, for the types of online experiences that require that.
But having to install a completely new browser for your desktop isn't? Installing uBlock Origin solves all your problems with trackers all over the web. Installing this electron app solves it for a few sites.
Keeping conversations going and following threads that don't just live inside forums but also commenting sections etc. is something very difficult and annoying with a web browser.
This could be a solution to keep conversations going longer than one keeps the tab/window with the according thread open.