The point is, my relationship with the DOM as a front end developer has never been more distant, and I couldn't be happier about it. But there is still much work to be done. View frameworks that depend on virtual DOM implementations, like Vue and React, are overkill, and the development toolkits are intimidating to newcomers and frustrating to old timers. The key is not to reimplement the DOM, it's to stop using it except when absolutely necessary. I have confidence that one day soon a tiny framework - just 2 or 3 kilobytes - will present a solution that offers an approach to client side rendering so simplified and functional that server side rendering will come practically for free.
I've published the tiny framework I hinted at above. It's called Oat, and definitely feels more React flavored, whereas my previous attempts were more angularish. Have a look: npmjs.com/package/oat.