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4E wasn't even like that. We're talking about the difference between a class ability which costs you nothing from day to day, except for class resources, and the actual crafting skill in which you need the proper supplies and downtime to work.
Carrying around a crate of vials everywhere you go would be extremely prohibitive. The alchemist I built can barely carry what he owns without being encumbered by it as it is.
That said, there is something to say for a system that allows you to design a bit of your own fluff for your own characters.
It looks like Paizo is already adding additional alchemical recipes. The PF2 adventure, The Fall of Plaguestone, introduces the Alchemical Crossbow, Energy Mutagen, and Stone Body Mutagen. Admittedly though, they're all combat oriented, rather than producing interesting effects.