Notes, I am with you on the expression thing, there are lots of analog instruments that have vast capabilities in terms of variiations in in pitch, timbre etc. It is a huge part of what makes music "speak" to us.
Our drummer bought a Roland electric drum set and it didn't take long before he put his cymbals and snare drum back in the kit. Too many sounds were missing.
One of my most prized possessions for studio/recording is a Korg Wavedrum Global. It doesn't play samples, there is no MIDI. It has a real, tunable drum head and a wide range of expression. Where you strike the head changes sounds, how hard you strike the head changes sounds and pressing on the head can also change sounds. It isn't a "real drum" but I haven't found anything that is fully electronic that is more expressive. I can plug it in, put headphones on and track at 2am without disturbing the neighbors next to me and above me (multi unit condo).
Here is something from late 2014, written and recorded to celebrate the Winter Solstice. The "udu" and bells are all Wavedrum. I played all parts. https://www.reverbnation.com/opossumapocalypse/song/25501212-toward-the-light?source=artistMusic