I think accepting this a Soundbar is the way to look at it. It’s not magic.
The issue with this bar seems to be the room it’s in. I have a relatively modern flat with a modern height ceiling (e.g quite low, about 2.6m), flat ceiling, nothing in the way, plenty of flat space for sound to bounce off. I also have the Soundbar quite low, about .4m off the ground.
I get sound above, to the sides and behind at points, so it works really well in my room. From my memory, what differs to when I had a 5.1 setup is I am not consciously going, that’s from rear left, that’s from front right the soundield is more natural, but that may be due to Atmos or DTS:X which I didn’t have.
Lone Survivor was just stunning, the main finale in Magnificent Seven is incredible. But I have seen others state they don’t get this experience, so I guess just try it in your home.
The sound quality is also extremely good, very clear for hi res music.
Like you say, sticking with it through all the faults is because I love it and it’s my best option as separates in my room aren’t an option. People are amazed when they hear it in action in my living room.