very fair. You have hands on experience, the Sony didn’t work for you, that’s the best way to pick a path.I think after the release of canon R5,R6,R3 and Nikon Z9 the brands are all pretty even. It boils down to which system one prefers overall and picking the compromises that suits best for each individual. It's just pointless to argue and nitpick on A1 vs Z9 vs R3 etc. Best is to demo or rent all the 3 and buy the one that works best.
In my case, I prefer the raw files, colors, ergonomics and lens rendition of the Nikon system. All I wanted was a true Nikon D850 in mirrorless form and I got that and some more with the Z9 so I'm at peace now.
Had Nikon messed up with the Z9, my plan was to seriously consider the Canon R5 with one of their lovely RF mount tele lenses. Sony never worked for me. Was disappointed with the A7R4 and 200-600 fiasco and also didn't like the way their expensive lenses render the images. Colors were not to my liking, images shot even with exotic prime lenses look too flat TO ME ( lack of rendition/3d pop) compared to Nikon and Canon. Although I like their compact set up, top notch AF, customization etc, ultimately the image output is a big deal and that's where I was and still am not convinced with Sony.
My journey was reversed. The D850 was the best I could use but it did force me to compromise on a few aspects (very livable) The Z7ii was the body that disappointed me most, the R5 was appealing but had a few aspects I did not like and the A1 just turned out to hit all my buttons without any compromise that mattered to me, while the z9 would have continued to ask compromises of me (Ergonomics, nothing technical).
i am more puzzled by the comment on the big guns, I really don’t see a flatness in any Sony picture (assuming the same post editing skills obviously). I just look at the images steve included in his A1 review, if that’s flat, I am ok with flat. Same with Steve Mattheis who also shoots both and I don’t see that his images differ.