The competition the Golf R really needs is a Civic Type R with an Acura badge that doesn't look like a gamer laptop on 4 wheels.
I'd be far more bullish about the new Golf R if Audi hadn't vetoed the RS3's very special 5-cylinder engine from going into the Golf R. The new Golf R is pushing $45K, which is very close to a TTV6 Genesis G70, or a Model 3 Long Range. Both of those cars don't have the baggage that the Mustang GT or Camaro SS have (all the Golf R owners I've known vetoed those cars from the start), and are something more than the incremental progress the Mk8 R seems to represent over the Mk7 R.
There are a few "buttons" (haptic feedback more than a true press-in button) for major menu items underneath the screen, which then cue up the corresponding information on the screen. Climate control, Parking (cameras, sensors), safety assist features, and drive modes. But your point is fair -- it's more distracting than physical controls, although I'd say 80 pct of what you need to do can be managed via the steering wheel.
“... the twin clutches overheated and forced the system into front-drive-only mode. The cool-down period lasted five minutes or so before the AWD could come back online.” One more reason to get the manual. (Even though there should be no question whatsoever.)