I totally disagree with you. And I’m not the only one. Thousands of Smalltalkers love the IDE and love the super-productive workflow.
In the dozen years that I’ve been using Smalltalk, and having interfaced with a great many Smalltalkers, I can count the number of disaffected Smalltalk developers on my ten fingers. You are most definitely in the minority.
The reason why Smalltalk is so productive is because of its live coding and debugging capability. The language, IDE, and total system of live objects work together in perfect harmony. By design. This is the very definition of synergy.
Trying to achieve this in other editors like Emacs, Vim, Sublime, Atom, VS Code, etc. would be most awkward, and the result would not be nearly as satisfying.
Compared to other IDEs like Visual Studio, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode, there is nothing complicated about the Smalltalk IDE. It’s relatively simple, very elegant, and enormously flexible. It’s so well-designed that Smalltalkers regularly code their applications inside the debugger!
Compared to C++, Java, Python, Ruby, etc., Smalltalk is a breath of fresh air when it comes to OOP. Its clarity, consistency, flexibility, scalability, and ease of learning is unmatched by any other programming language.