Exactly. Drum machines sound like drum machines. If you use them like that, it's all good.
Yeah, in the same way player piano is “kind of neat,” and certainly doesn’t replace a real player, but like Conlon Nancarrow is “wow” or “wtf.”
Musical innovations get put out as a functional solution to a problem but continuously get subverted by users. Look at the guitar, exhibit A - amplification was a functional introduction into the market (for loudness purposes) but became its own aesthetic thing for different reasons.