interesting thoughts. with some key parts like Si5351a PLL's only available in SMD form we are seeing more hybrid kits, with these critters pre-installed. note QRP Labs is planning a smaller version of QCX with the builder only having to install through hole parts.
I did look over a few of my SMD successes -- let's see a frequency counter to the NC2030 that was nearly all surface mount. Maybe my biggest SMD wonder was homebrewing a WBR regen receiver (which BTW is a wonderful 40m CW/SSB receiver) that needed a small value varactor. i had gotten a very tiny sample, mounted it to a little board made for some IC form factor that fit - and it let me attach leads to it. could I do it again? maybe. am I am looking forward to maybe replacing a bad Si5351a on my original QCX (when and if I order one)? i guess I should be up to the challenge but it might take some patient effort.
some of us have deep enough stashes of thru hole parts, but the opportunity to mount a few SMD parts for a project (on media that can accept them) is worthwhile. or build something with tubes and real big components.
73 CUL curt wb8yyy