from OP "Connecting the cables (USB-C for controller, HDMI2.1, power, ethernet,): took only a minute, everything works okay. To enable 4K 120 Hz HDR Adaptive Sync (for supported games) it is directly connected to my TV, the audio signals are sent via eARC to my amplifier."
I guess it's the move to digital that prompts all this transferring, external HDDs, pre-installing tons of games. I have a bunch of physical games at the ready for when I find a ps5. I'll just hook it up, put in a game and play. I can only play one game at a time, play one while the next is downloading, or simply pop in the next disc.
The only time it took forever to get going was I think the WiiU which needed a 2 hour day one patch before you could use the system. Hopefully there aren't too many, long stability updates by the time I get one!