I can honestly say that I have *never* had a desktop machine that used PulseAudio where pulse did not cause some problem or another. I've also never had one where Pulse brought with it any advantages. Per app volume controls? What apps don't have thier own? Software mixing? What sound chipsets, even really cheap ones, don't support hardware mixing of multiple channels? Network audio? ESD did that just fine without causing audio problems so severe that a reboot (yes, a reboot) was required. Simply logging out, killing pulse, and logging back in, has not helped on the machines which exhibited this problem.
Regarding systemd... Scott James Remnant's team looked into the port-listening strategy that systemd is based upon for possible use in Upstart. It had architectural problems that were irresolvable, so they quite reasonably abandoned it.
Mark my words. Fedora will be changing its init system again in the not so terribly distant future. After they've had enough of Lennart and systemd, and something newer and shinier comes along.