Firstly, thanks much for the kind words. I’ve been at a BSD shop for years now, and after Free, or any BSD, Linux does often make me feel somewhat at sea.
I agree with you, Linux does seem to be getting more and more GUI oriented. Even many official docs seem to assume you’re using GUI.
Specifically, I usually start with choosing minimal install, then add X and such afterwards. So, I try to avoid installing Gnome, though RH and Fedora are so deeply tied to it, that you often can’t avoid pulling in large parts of it
To figure out what you need for say, Gnome, you can do
dnf group list |grep -i gnome
And you’ll see "GNOME Desktop environment
Then you can do
dnf install @'GNOME Desktop environment'
Here’s a nice link though they don’t mention how, Windows like, RH and friends tend to put spaces in names, so you would need the quotes as I used above.
Mostly, I boot into text mode and use startx. I don’t really use power management in Linux as my main workstation is FreeBSD right now. I’d just wind up doing a web search.
And yes, I agree, RH, and most LInux, is moving to be more like Windows. In fairness, they’re way ahead of FreeBSD in things like wireless, and also, for example, a test install of Fedora workstation found my printer/scanner with no effort on my part, whereas with FreeBSD I had to startpage (which I use instead of google) how to get it working, which, in the end, I got from an ArchLinux wiki article.
Depending upon your needs/wants, you might be happier with VoidLinux, which is more FreeBSD like (and BSD like in general), including root’s default shell being csh. (Though I think that’s going to be changed to sh).
ArchLinux is another more CLI oriented distribution, though it does use systemd, don’t know how much that is a factor for you.
Dbus can be installed as a separate package, I don’t know what it pulls in, I think I get it when I install xorg-x11-server-Xorg, though it may be pulled in with something else. I don’t keep that much track of what i pull in, but you can do dnf install samba-common, for example and see what else it pulls in, and if it pulls in too much choose to not install it.
IMNSHO, once much of Linux embraced systemd, they sort of gave up on the idea of do one thing and do it well. Poettering, of course, went back to Microsoft, after making Linux more MS like. But, I am an old grouch who yells at clouds. so don’t take my views too seriously. In short, I do agree that much of LInux, especially the RH and Ubuntu based distributions, are going more and more towards GUI.