@moorebrother1 I appreciate that you're talking from personal experience, and I absolutely agree that MTGO is not worth it for everyone, but I really think you're underselling it in some cases.
Playing MTGO will make your understanding of the rules about MTG better but it will not make you a better paper player.
• There are things about the rules that I did not know, and MTGO exploits these. Leovold is beast against Oath on MTGO.
Exploiting the rules is a funny way to say "understanding the rules." Leovold is a beast against Oath in paper, before you didn't know that, and now you do. How is that not MTGO making you a better paper player?
The cost of buying into MTGO vs buying into paper is not worth it if you plan on staying in the game for any pro-longed period of time.
I think it's completely fair to want to stay out of having a digital collection and buy paper cards instead. That's completely subjective and a lot of people just prefer it. I don't think it's fair to have a conversation about the value proposition of digital cards without mentioning that most people can't afford $20k for vintage deck. There's something off about you saying you didn't want to spend $5 on a Hurkyl's Recall on magic online while also saying you prefer paper cards.
There is a small group of players that dominate MTGO. We see their names on mtgotop8.com and rarely see paper players names because most of the data from paper events is not collected in a reliable way.
The current vintage champion is Andy Markiton, who was the best performing vintage player on MTGO for months before he owned a paper vintage deck. Three of the top performing MTGO players are Andy, Brian Kelly, and Rich Shay, who are well known for their performances in paper events. Anecdotally my friend Akash Naidu was primarily a non-vintage player, started playing vintage on MTGO because it was easy to get games in, and now pretty consistently top 8s any large paper vintage events he attends. There is a strong correlation between good MTGO finishes and good paper finishes. That doesn't mean that playing online is guaranteed to make someone a better player, but it makes some of the best players better.
There's a lot of reasons to dislike MTGO, and if your core point is that you learn faster against human opponents, I think that's absolutely correct ... but I don't think there's a good argument that MTGO doesn't regularly produce stronger players.
finally ... as an aside
• The random shuffle on MTGO is vastly different from a paper shuffle where players aim for random distribution of cards.
Don't says stuff like this. This is cheating. I know you didn't mean it that way, but it is. If a player is aiming for anything other than randomization while they're shuffling their cards, that player is cheating. If you're getting dramatically different draws with your paper decks than the same deck on MTGO, consider trying a new shuffling technique.