You do have the facility to download a boot image and write this on an SDcard
Then you also have the facility to download all the packages you need for your environment and write them in the filesystem of your SDcard, or on a USB memory stick.
When you boot this new system you have all the necessary requirements for creating your environment available, using the packages as an off-line mini repository. (when you use a USB stick you need to make it only once. It can be re-used every time you make a fresh install. The packages may be old, but once on-line you can upgrade.
It would be unrealistic to expect a package maintainer to envision every user's requirements.
Gaining access to the new system will generally work with ethernet (dhcp) and ssh. I am using Archlinux and this always works out of the box. If you keep having trouble you might try that distro. In particular when you don't want an X11 environment it is ideal, because none of that is pre-installed.
Off course you can get by without an elementary development tool like a serial interface. If you rather suffer the hassle than fork some 5 bucks for this item, feel free. But don't blame the package maintainers. That will be your choice, I use the serial interface a lot, because it gives a very good insight in what is happening during the boot process. And this interface Always Works.
You can be disappointed in the work of everyone out there providing you with the free software, but know that you are not entitled to anything. Your complaints are very easy to overcome and you can do all of it yourself.