As long as I've been using Debian there has been a default set of install options, but ultimately it was possible to replace nearly everything with "non-standard" components using the Debian archives.
In other words, even though they pick a "default" they understand that every user will have different preferences and where there is developer support for it they provide the options. Honestly if they had more volunteers they'd provide even more options. Hell, they even have a hurd port and no one has a hurd port.
That's the beauty of Debian, they don't pick sides, they pick a default for a base install then allow the user to rip out and replaces with options fairly painlessly. That's the Debian way I'm familiar with, not the Debian way you are advocating.