Thanks so much for this comprehensive feedback, it really gives me a very good idea for what I can do and what to not invest in / try.
The Tinker is much cheaper than the octa core Odoids, where I may also have to build my own metal case ... so I will decide for the slightly less powerful Tinker with a standard Pi metal case with fan and heat sinks and I should be good to go.
I will let you know if I find a powerful low noise supply - will probably build a powerful one with a toroidal transformer and traditional regulation, swapping noise for heat, and run all my USB devices across one single clean unit.
The hint with the command line server call with its specific config is making life very convenient, especially when updating.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone