None of what follows is meant to knock any particular distro. Different Linux users have different needs, and we don't all see things in the same ways (obviously)...
When one distro gets all or most of their packages directly from a "parent" distro's repos, I definitely tend to prefer to use the "parent" distro. Same thing if most of the documentation is coming from the "parent" distro. I guess this has a lot to do with why I eventually quit running Linux Mint, and why, even though I like Antergos, I don't like it (or other Arch-derivatives I've used) as much as Arch. I enjoy running Ubuntu, but I wouldn't replace Debian with Ubuntu. Some distros like BunsenLabs, MX, antiX, I think they're awesome but I don't prefer them over Debian.
BunsenLabs, for example, is actually one of my favorites, a very special distro for those who like Openbox, but I ended up replacing that with a Debian netinstall (with Openbox), which I feel has turned out better for me than BunsenLabs.
For me, the derivatives can be useful and I'm glad they're out there. But a lot of times, I'll run them in live sessions, or even install to the hard drive, then figure out how to get what I want (after seeing something in the derivative) from the "parent" distro. Too often, the derivative ships with a lot of stuff that I don't really want or need.
In some cases, I'll go with the derivative because it might work better on a particular computer, but then it seems like I can usually figure out how to do it with the "parent" later.
I do like having something like MX around for live sessions. Very useful, at times.
The derivatives are often quicker and easier to install, but it isn't like I'm needing to do an installation every other week or whatever. Seems to me that I have fewer hassles over the long term with the "parent" distros than with the derivatives. Maybe it takes a little longer, for example, to get Debian installed and set up than something else (seems a lot quicker and easier these days than it used to be, though), but after that it's good for a few years.
Seems like I put myself in a better situation if I've learned to use the "parent" distro well. With the derivative, I end up feeling like I need to know how the parent distro works anyway.
And I am not installing for other people, only for myself.
What a distro looks like out-of-the-box isn't of much concern to me; it's about what I end up with (for this reason, most distro reviews I see are kinda useless to me -- seems like they're usually done by someone who has looked at the installation for a few weeks, at most, not by somebody who's been using it for the past couple of years).
Lately, I kinda feel like one distro is as good as the next, but I guess that depends on what the user is looking for.
Other considerations for me: The dev teams, and how long the distro has been around. Seen too many nice one-man distros come and go (one I kinda miss: SalineOS).
Maybe I should just install Slackware and quit screwing around.