Because Associations is not an invention of RM Inc, unlike Shared Events might be considered to be, but rather that of an aspiring standard to be followed by multiple softwares for interchange, I think it goes well outside whether one chooses RM as their production database.
As I see it, RM and GEDCOM Associations are just a simplistic and direct mechanism to enter two nodes and a link between them for network analysis and diagramming. What’s a family tree chart? A network diagram filtered for parent-child linkages and presented or styled in a particular way, e.g., the parent-child relationship is shown as a T rather than a triangle (or, strictly, a V). I imagine Associations being presented as a network diagram with filters for who to include, what kind of links (association types) to include, what properties to display and in what time frame. Likewise the data of these filtered associations being of a form that can be subjected to network analysis.
In RM, so-called “Family type” events are really a link of a certain type (Marriage, Divorce) between two individual nodes (people) at a certain time. Those who share in the event are additional nodes linked to both (T’s vs V’s) of different types and roles… If they are related through genetics, blood, marriage, those are covered by links of various types through other nodes (people). In RM (and GEDCOM), the database structure and UI are driven by the classic style for family charts and hides the basic nodal network to which they can be reduced which is why, I think, ASSOciations jumps out as a new way of doing things. It is the basic two-node linkage that is implicit for lineage-based databases but is disguised or manifested under child-parents and couple.
I’d like to believe that all Associations, Couple, Child-Parents, Event-Sharers could be brought out in a nodal network. That Couple, Child-Parents and Shared Events should represent an efficient and effective user interface for generating nodes and links whether generated on the fly when called for by user needs within the application or when exporting or otherwise exchanging with other systems.
And as @thejerrybryan says, all should be searchable, groupable, color-codable, Find Everywhereable, reportable, chartable…
That’s not too much to ask, is it?