I've actually barely used i3, but I love notion (I prefer static frames in my twm), but I agree that at the end of the day, it's much better to use a really simple window manager, and become familiar with the basic x apps or curses apps.
>novices will either have to do a bigger leap or migrate to either LXDE or LXQT
The tragedy of this is, most novices won't make any leaps at all, because they won't appreciate what's going on until it's too late. They'll just kinda stick with whatever's easy.
>use the xfce stack
I've never understood doing something like this while using another window manager. I used to know people who would use fluxbox or whatever and then use the gnome stack at the same time. Mind boggling.