Melodyne and Vocalign can solve part of your problem, but of course you pay extra, and it's not cheap.
VariAudio and vocal align in Cubase perform well, but overall not as good as third-party dedicated tools.
I do like retro mixers like Reason. But I don't think channel strips are necessary. Unless manipulating channel strips is a major part of your workflow. I like discrete effects so I have no problem with that. I can also use FatChannel to work if needed.
I can't understand why converting from mp3 to wav is so time consuming, in many other DAWs this step is not a hassle. Especially when the mp3 sample rate and the project's sample rate are different, I can even make a cup of coffee.