I may be wrong, but I think that the largest license class in the USA is the Technician class. Technicians only have limited HF privileges, and it is said that many of them lose interest when faced with the limitations of the FM handy that is typically their first rig. From that point of view, the opportunities opened up to them by SOTA is a good way of keeping them in ham radio rather than falling by the wayside. Operating on 2m FM from a SOTA summit can give them a range of perhaps a hundred miles, this is pretty small beer by HF standards, but we shouldn’t knock it if they can qualify a summit and get contacts in the database - and in favoured locations during a weekend or holiday they can get ten or twenty contacts, which is enough to keep the flame burning!
I spent nearly forty years doing nothing in ham radio but V/UHF, but it was HF short wave listening that got me into ham radio, and in my later years I returned to HF, so I have a clear understanding of the attractions of both HF and V/UHF. Both are great fun, but there is no compelling reason to choose one over the other, and I am sure that a 2m FM activation is just as fulfilling as a 20m activation.
It is informative to look at the “Facts and Figures” menu in the database. It currently gives the total number of CW QSOs as 2,020,412, SSB QSOs as 1,669,782, and FM as 815,912, so FM contacts (which will be mainly V/UHF) only make 18% of the total. This 18% is a small price to pay to keep beginners, the impecunious, light weight enthusiasts and V/UHF enthusiasts involved in SOTA.