Crosshair, I think the information you found about the Pro2000 is...how to put this politely...a bunch of malarkey
It seems to be making the press out to be inconvenient and finicky. This is not the case (at least, not with mine). Here are my thoughts on the 4 points from the OP. Apologies in advance for any excessive snark in the following counter-points
1. I have never used a pickup tube. However, I know I can go from tray of 100 primers to 4 loaded 25-primer strips in about a minute using the strip loader that came with my press. The strip-feeding mechanism is neither complex nor non-intuitive, where is this coming from? I have had mine apart exactly once, and that was before I realized I could clean it with a soft round brush or a pipe cleaner - while fully assembled. It is in no way "just awful", and anyone who says it is has never owned a Lee Loadmaster. THAT priming system is just awful.
2. Yes the powder charge actuation system mounts on the press. This makes caliber changes quicker actually, unless you plan to have a powder actuator for each set of dies you own
(which some folks do, I guess, but that seems expensive to me). If the powder system were mounted on one of the dies then you'd have to take the powder actuator off of the die, remove the die plate, replace it with the desired die plate, replace the powder actuator on the new die plate, and then calibrate the powder drop.
2 cont. And every time you change calibers you don't have to "set the whole system back up". All you have to do is loosen the lock nut, screw the actuator mechanism into or out of the press a few turns (depending on the height of the cartridge you are about to load), re-tighten the lock nut, and then adjust the micrometer on the powder drop to the setting that matches your powder. Here's how it works. At some point you will be working with a new caliber. So you figure out how much of what kind of powder you want to drop, fiddle with the micrometer on the powder drop system until it drops that much, then write the micrometer setting down in your notes. For instance on my press, a micrometer setting of 8.05 drops 35.0 grains of 3031. When you change calibers, you consult your notes for the correct setting for that powder in that cartridge, adjust the micrometer, throw a couple of test charges, and you're ready. Takes a couple minutes.
3. I have thrown charges of Bullseye down to 3.5 grains. (9mm). I haven't gone any lower than that because I don't load .380, .32, or .25acp. But I had no problems down at 3.5. All powder measures have trouble with some powders. The RCBS is no better or worse in that regard. But it throws small charges just fine as long as it doesn't especially "dislike" the powder.
4. I consider this a benefit, not a detriment. My right hand stays on the lever. My left hand loads cases, places bullets, and indexes the shellplate. Have you seen videos of folks using a Dillon 550b fast? They look like an octopus!!
One thing I believe I've heard folks say about the 550b is that caliber changes are expensive and a pain. On the Pro2000 caliber changes are fast and easy, even if you have to change primer sizes. We're talking 5 minutes max and requiring 3 included Allen wrenches for the shell plate, a 7/16" box-end wrench for the primer thing, and a decent-sized crescent wrench for the lock nut on the powder system. And to set yourself up for caliber changes involves a $21 die plate plus a $34 shellplate, plus dies. So that's $55 on top of the dies. That's it. If someone could weigh in regarding the 550b and caliber changes I'd like to hear what the actual skinny is on that.
Dillon makes a great press according to just about everybody so I'm not going to try to say they don't. But the Pro2000 is a great press too. It just happened to be the one I ended up with.
Also, on the "don't start with a progressive" subject...I say go for it. I did, and I still have all my fingers
He can run it like a turret press (one cartridge at a time) or even as a single stage if he wants to. Then when he gets more comfortable with it, he can go full progressive. Just like dmazur said.
Here's a picture of mine.