I didn't go into more detail in my original post because it was so long, but great point. The storage situation on PS5 was also unacceptable at launch and a sign of a rushed or tone-deaf launch.
Xbox Series S/X launched with ways to store your Xbox Series games on an HDD, as well as expandable SSD storage (though it's crazy expensive). Sony didn't even give the HDD option to store PS5 games until recently.
No idea if it was fixed, but sleep mode screwed up the external.