Back when I was trying to learn to use a DAW, they didn't have a "button" for hardware insert, so I did the same thing manually. At the time, plug-ins weren't as good as they are today, and I have plenty of hardware. Besides, a plug-in would be just one more GUI to befuddle me. And, most important, I use very little in the way of signal processing in my work, so I just continued to do what I'm used to and be amazed that it works.
So, IF I were using a DAW today, I'd probably make use of the hardware insert feature.