I repeat: The real difference is that most people can't write even this utterly trivial snippet without studying the Sequel documentation first.
Now what if I want a WHERE-clause? Do I have to use s.where? Or s.select_append("where ...")? What if I need to combine them with AND/OR?
It's not ok that we have to think about all this boilerplate that has nothing to do with our actual query.
We shouldn't have to translate our perfectly unambiguous request from english (SQL) to klingon (Sequel API) in order to have it processed.
There might be a sweet spot yet unreached in terms of allowing developers to work with SQL on top of as minimal a native binding as possible. I'm certainly not claiming that Sequel/SQLAlchemy/etc. is at or near that sweet spot. It might be necessary to use a language with language-level support (or macros) to really reach it.