Whether something works or not is problematic to judge. People always ask whether SW will work on a particular system and the answer can depend on many different factors. There are examples of 2 basically identical computers which are not running qualified components. One might work ok and the other gives problems. I think the main benefit of following "recommendations" is that there will be less problems and they may be easier to solve.
I am glad you are sharing your results with us and I would love to find that I do not have to spend a lot or carry a heavy machine to get some benefits.
My intuition tells me that running SW in a "least common denominator" method can give results running from less than satisfactory down thru unreliable. It can also result in a poor economic result. If I purchased the best system I wanted to afford which might allow me to create simple-to-mid range parts, it may likely not work when my comfort level allows me to work on more complex designs. The I realize that I have spent money for 2 setups instead.
Also, as you have mentioned, there are sacrifices made. The fact that I can watch a high def movie on a smart phone doesn't mean my eyes are going to enjoy the experience.
Again, thanks - keep experimenting and sharing with us.