I see your side also. Infact I may be jealous of it. A better game is a better game. I mean I get to go back and play all those atelier games with the plus or dx without waiting.
I don't even know what one I'm going to try next. I hear good things about Mysterious book. But right now I can't imagine playing an atelier trilogy.
One game is so long, playing three that are out already is a mighty investment.
I'm not going the original ateliers. Still time limit gun shy. So mysterious book or Dusk maybe.
Older Atelier games are around 30 hours long for a first playthrough. It's only since Escha & Logy (second game of the Dusk trilogy) that they went past 40 hours. Ayesha and Escha & Logy of the Dusk trilogy still feature time limits, Shallie is the only Dusk game without one; since Shallie there's no time limit in Atelier games anymore.
The positive side of time limits (well, I do like time limits very much, so here I mean positive for people who do not like them) is that grinding (be that EXP or materials) and very excessive synthesis sequences had to be left out, simply because there's no time for that. I think I've told you this before, but the time limits usually don't put much pressure on the player. There's plenty of time to do syntheses for better equipment and battle items. Even in the unlikely case that you fail on the three year period that you are given, you'd still be able to move on to new game+ with your current equipment and money along with special alchemy equipment that reduces the time it takes for certain tasks. You'd be so much faster on new game+ that you'd wonder what to do with your time. Failure on first playthrough would also mean that you spent 20-25 hours at most.
I consider it a bigger challenge to fail than to succeed with the time limits that you are being given in Atelier games. You'd have to deliberately waste time in order to fall short of the main objectives. Time limit sounds more daunting than it really is.