I feel your pain. But I think it’s amazing we can be apart of the new payment system that can route billions or trillions of transactions in the future!
Just think it’s 2050 onchain fee market is so high that it’s only used for high value transactions. The supply of bitcoin is so low that it’s hard for the common person to buy Bitcoin and spin up a node. And lightning network is level two of 5 of the bitcoin payment stack!
In short, now is the time to learn and tinker with this technology. Sure it sucks to route not earn enough fees now but think of the long term advantages of running a lightning node. From an educational and early adopter standpoint.
Owning a node has the advantage that If you own some kind of system that earns from satoshis going and coming it surely helps you to mitigate some sats onchain (because you can open a channel directly with the service/exchange) ... But you actually don't need a full node (with all bitcoin blockchain) and 100% online to achieve that..
Simply download blixt wallet, put some sats there and open a private channel with the service you want and you're good to go!
Using LNbits as as service to family and friends it's fun, but you keep their custody (that's not very funny) because if something happens to your node (suppose you get hacked), you are held accountable for their funds (and yours)
In general, apart of being some kind of hobby (that you spend money, but you enjoy), having own node is difficult, risky and you end up spending money to maintain it:
I had 30 channels that I have lost 4 times due to UPS failing to protect the system from surge, and having to tinker with:
  • Onchain fees from all force closure (from recovery)
  • Onchain fees to open all channels again (cheaper cause you can batch open 10 at a time)
  • Onchain fees from force closing some channels
  • purchasing inbound liquidity
  • spending days with funds locked due to maurity
  • Spending days to recover funds from channels that force closing didn't work
  • Spending sats rebalancing
  • Extra Electricity having 24/7 pc on
  • Buying the risk of being hacked - If somehow someone gets access to your RTL or SSH one can spend all of your funds!
If I do the math, I turn it off... But as a hobbist I'll tackle along a little more!
Yup as a fellow hobbyist I know exactly how this feels.