I have recently had a not-atypical publishing experience for me. Submitted a manuscript, got a set of comments back in about four weeks. Comments were informed, pointed a finger at some weak points in the paper but did not go all nonlinear about what else they'd like to see or whinge about mechanism or talk about how I could really increase the "likely impact". The AE gave a decision of minor revisions. We made them and resubmitted. The AE accepted the paper.
The manuscript had been previously rejected from somewhere else. And we'd revised the manuscript according to those prior comments as best we could. I assume that made the subsequent submission go smoother but it is not impossible we simply would have received major revisions for the original version.
Either way, the process went as I think it should.
This brings me around to the folks who think that peer review of manuscripts is irretrievably broken and needs to be replaced with something NEW!!!!11!!!.
Try working in the normal scientific world for awhile. Say, four years. Submit to regular journals edited by actual working peer scientists. ONLY. Submit to journals of pedestrian and/or unimpressive Impact Factor (that would be the 2-4 range from my frame of reference). Submit interesting stories- whether they are "complete" or "demonstrate mechanism" or any of that bullshit. Then submit the next part of the continuing story you are working on. Repeat.
Oh, and make sure to submit to journals that don't require any page charge. Don't worry, they exist.
Give your trainees plenty of opportunity to be first author. Give them lots of experience writing and allow them to put their own thoughts into the paper..after all, there will be many more of them to go around.
See how the process works. Evaluate the quality of review. Decide whether your science has been helped or hindered by doing this.
Then revisit your prior complaints about how peer review is broken.
And figure out just how many of them have more to do with your own Glamour humping ways than they do with anything about the structure of Editor managed peer-review of scientific manuscripts.
Also see Post-publication peer review and preprint fans