What you are really complaining is not difficulty, it is not tedium, it is LAZINESS. It seems you would rather AFK waiting for a ton of refined iron to smelt then go into a mine for 20 seconds extra.
Incorrect. We would rather be able to create Stuff, like machines, without having to make a hammer, smash ingots into plates, cut plates into wires, then take other plates, smash those into a machine casing, make batteries and circuits using the wires/plates, craft those into a conveyor module, add all of the stuff to the crafting table to make a machine, then forget that we need pistons, go back and make a few of those, and finally craft a machine, being one that only increases your platemaking efficiency. It is tedium, plain and simple - because this is a game, where you can mold Diamonds into stuff with your bare hands, break through a cubic meter of anything in under 5 seconds (with some exceptions), carry several tons of stuff around without a vehicle, and much more - and it is not supposed to be as realistic/correct as possible.