Try cleaning up a scene with 1000 unnamed objects in 100 different nested hierarchies in Houdini, only to be able to assign a common material to all screws. Try to rename 100 objects in different hierarchies at the same time with automatic numbering.
maybe a wrong example, this is exactly the task for Houdini
I usually do this in sops for now, may have limitation that need workarounds, depending on expectations, but otherwise very straightforward and as procedural or as manual as you need, definitely not on object level
a lot of times we run heavy CAD through Houdini for some initial processing and even hierarchy editing or renaming after our modelers give up waiting hours to open it in Maya or Max, just cause those DCCs trying to open it as tens of thousands of heavy objects rather than one geo with attributes or groups that can be easily processed, Houdini would also never open it at object level
In Solaris I see the potential, but as I said it's not there yet UX wise, but definitely don't see it as only for large pipelines, it's just missing the artist high level tools and workflows, so for now it's super confusing
don't get me wrong, I'm not opposing to whatever tree/layer centric workflows people are requesting, that's up to SESI to consider, but sometimes understanding the implementent tools and workflows can help ease the pain and sometimes you may find they may be better suited for certain tasks
also Houdini has layers at least in a simple form calling it Groups: Shift+Z in network editor, where you can organize your nodes into “layers” and show/hide in viewport, show/hide in network editor, select/deselect
whether it's useful for anyone or not I don't know, since I've never got into the layer centric thinking, but if you see the potential in them maybe rexuesting the extension of those tools may be easier way to get something tangible in a short run