Triggers are fine, especially if you have done that with war3.. But I can understand why some complain about the data editor - so many useless fields are on display, ones that you will almost never change. And creating a simple ability - I'm better off making a dummy ability and then I can add all actor effects, sounds, behaviors, damage, etc I want all in a single trigger. Otherwise create so many data things that copying them type by type between maps or mod is annoying. And sometimes the way you have to set up things for a simple projectile or Item - yes an item takes more time to create than a unit, did you know? Because besides unit, you may want to create the item data set it with charges, effects. In War3 items were easier, yes you could not treat items like units but the way items are a whole tree of data things... I think the whole way this data editor is made is horrible.
And think of loading Actors - my high-end pc can sometimes crash the editor if I click quickly between fields because of so many fields that it has to display, you know it freezes for a moment to suddenly load all crap, all the useless fields.