i suppose a lot of this depends on your specific expectation of the rack(s). i also use an external mixer for parts of my rack, as well as external gear. But if i pop on to a modular meetup, I want to take a small case with a dedicated small hp output for simple plug'n'play duties. This is both the blessing and curse of modular; the permutations of modules are endless so it's worth having a plan of how you plan to use it.

I'm no expert but the limited experience I have in transferring from synths and semi modular to modular, if that I needed lots of modulation for those lovely sounds. It was both vca and envelopes that I quickly used up so my recent purchases have looked for things that double up as secondaries for those tasks. I agree the disting needs a manual on hand which sucks but Pams is very fluid with barely more than one nested menu in most use cases, and the oled really helps. but for bang for buck, it's great.

I would suggest a disking mk4 if space is limited. i mean its 86 modules in one. And a Pam's if you want to clock all those oscillators easily.