When I got my general and set up a very modest station I was not able to make very many phone contacts and I found that quite frustrating. After doing some looking around I found ft8 and it filled a void. Making contacts in Peru, Japan, Australia, and Russia kept me in the hobbie. It was the stuff I had heard about as a kid that had originally got my interest.
I eventually updated my station and really enjoy the ragchew of PSK but when the band is in bad shape or the pickens are slim I change modes and continue to radio. That's the important part to me, radioing.
Two more cents,