There is nothing to be sad about this, David.
Budgie is desktop agnostic, all right, but Budgie is the flagship desktop of Solus. If you click on https://budgie-desktop.org/home/ and click on “Get”, you’d see that.
And, Solus started because of not-want-to-use-deb-packages idea. (I’ve been with Evolve OS and before. Those forums are not there to see those thoughts.) One day, it’d move to Qt and the file manager would be what it would be, that is, good for Solus and Budgie, with the emphasis on Solus.
I am commenting on Nautilus and Budgie, because, it was what you were worried about; the desktop icons and so on. (I have both, Ubuntu-Budgie 18.04 and Solus 3, both fully updated. Writing from yours, while checking on Solus 3 on the other laptop.) I am actually not worried about desktop icons that much, but sometimes I like doing some work on the desktop, and if there are no desktop icons, I can’t do that.