From a more game-centric view, if drones are better at everything than Metahumans, why not have them do everything? Why have Deckers when a Hacking Drone beats them in every category? (4th ed ran into this, HARD, when people started summoning Task Spirits who were better at programming than any Metahuman that ever was, or would, be. FastJack being trashed in the Matrix by a Shaman with a stick just stinks, you know?) ... This is why Skillwires can't get as good as Metahuman skill potential, for instance.
This also gives the Rigger some choices ...she can let drones handle things on their own, where their dice pools are limited, or take manual control for when they want to really focus on a task. You can see this with Tater Tot in the chapter fiction ... she lets her Proletariat handle minor repairs while she's otherwise occupied, but takes over for the important stuff. A Rigger with 6 drones that are rolling 6-8 dice won't dominate a gametable like one with the same number dropping 12-15 dice. THAT Rigger doesn't need to bother with a team.
So, there ya go. A little look behind the curtain.
I can understand that argument, but Catalyst ran in the exact opposite direction. It is now a case of 'If drones are worse at everything than Metahumans, why have them do anything?'
To get a single drone up to 6 Pilot and 6 skill not only isn't possible at character creation, but it costs 20,000 nuyen and an Availability roll of 24F (which is basically in 'good luck with that' territory), plus 1200 nuyen per skill. That doesn't even count the cost of the drone. And let's not forget that Drones are inherently more fragile than metahumans, having 6 + (Body/2) hit boxes, and the number of drones that have armor even comparable to a metahuman can be counted on one hand. Even in this book, I don't see a single drone that has more armor than an Armored Jacket, other than three Drones that are so large I'm not sure why they're not qualified as vehicles, namely the Ares KN-Y series. The picture makes those things look like tanks, and considering they have no room for passengers, you'd think they'd be incredibly durable. And yet they have the Armor of a Roadmaster combined with the Body of a Motorcycle. A flimsy motorcycle, at that.
It is laughably easy to one shot 90% of the drones that exist. Thanks to the way Damage has been increased across the board in 5th, I've done it with a hold-out pistol. Seriously, the weakest gun in the game does 6P + net hits, which is already enough to one-shot every drone smaller than Medium, and most of the Mediums to boot. Even the Steel Lynx only has 9 boxes of damage, and resists damage with 18 dice. An Ares Alpha with APDS cuts 6 dice out of that, down to 12 dice. Assuming an average roll of 4 hits, The Steel Lynx will only survive a single shot of 12 damage or less. Too bad the Ares Alpha does 11P + net hits damage, so assuming it hits at all, it's doing 12 at a minimum. But lets not forget how bad Drones are at dodging, thanks to their terrible dice pools.
Drones are just all around a terrible investment. They are prohibitively expensive, ridiculously fragile, and inherently inferior to all alternatives. I was expecting Rigger 5 to mitigate that problem, but it only seems to have made it worse. I fully expect the riggers I play with to continue writing off drones entirely, and invest solely in vehicles. The only drones worth buying are the mini and micro flying drones to use for aerial overwatch and recon, something that is out of the way and never gets close to combat. There is no such thing as a combat drone in 5th edition.