Well this was a terrible idea.
I learned a lot, but, with apologies to Emacs purists, there's just no way using Emacs keybindings makes sense for me as long as Evil-mode is available. I'm hardwired for modal, Vim-like editing, and can imagine no benefit that would make it worth the necessary rewiring needed in order to switch.
But, I don't want to go all the way back to Spacemacs so I'm once again giving Doom-emacs a shot.
Doom feels lighter, faster, and easier to configure and customize so I'm running with it.