PITA != impossible. Any idjit who intentionally has only a top off pump for a large raft isn't going to enjoy his experience. We agree on that. But it will work, in a pinch. smaller the boat, the more so.
Your ire toward foot pumps, though, is misplaced. Foot pumps, like all good design, exhibit the best ergonomics of any pump.
A plastic rio bravo is not a foot pump. Proper footpumps are well made with marine plywood and raft material bellows, through-bolted with stainless hardwear. There's nothing to lube and they last forever. I've boated for thousands of river miles, using military valves in conjunction with good foot pumps. Why does a pump need a check valve? The more boats have two way valves, the less the pumps need to have them.
Lee still sells one: Sierra Marine Ply Foot Pump for Rafts and Kayaks, made in USA
Nice price too.
I enjoy sipping my morning warm bevrage, watching the light on the walls change, while my legs get shaken loose with the foot pump.
Eyes and hands free beats wobbling on a vertically-challenged pogo-stick, which is the user experience of most barrel pumps.
Regardless of your your pump of choice though, do we all agree that pumps should be kept DRY when packed on-river?