Well everyone has this problem with the whole hardware selection and walled-garden thing together with making a judgement of where all the supplier’s product road maps are going and which suppliers and technologies will win commercially. And I appreciate that not everyone’s requirements, views, budget etc are the same. But …
… is there any way to do a poll on here to find out which are the most popular / best rated pieces of hardware and/or platform?
To be frank, no.
This forum is not on Home Automation in general.
And this sort of polling does not make sense imho, let alone in that unspecified fashion you have put it.
We have seen a number of attempts at this in the past, they all failed because there’s so many options, ever changing quickly, and everyone’s requirements and starting points are different.
All this post or poll will do is to generate a lot of noise in the best case, and waste many reader’s and even more so writer’s time as a more likely outcome.
It may work as a WIKI post that all users can edit and add what they find works in the post. It could be a requirement that you need to include a link to a dedicated thread for users to ask questions about the device in. It would be a useful thread if it made it easier to find X type of device that works with no cloud and what the pros and cons of the device is.
openHAB likes to be seen as Vendor neutral and there are good reasons to stay that way.
Most people have invested in hardware before they try and figure out how it is all going to work together. Sometimes you also don’t have a choice.
Eg I use google voice assistant because someone gave me one for christmas.