short disclaimer: i do not work for Salesforce, but last two years went through many bumps with lightning development, so i can give you prospective of application developer.
The technology or framework is like a party: you don't want to come too early, neither you want to stay too late. Salesforce has plenty of components which they use in-house. Every release they expose more and more to outside world.
Speaking about "lightning:" components - most of them are still in beta stage. They are about to replace ui components plus hadful of containers, like scrollable lists, lazy load containers. Chances are there will be those you are asking for next release or release after.
To answer your questions:
Is this really doable in the new One-Page app model where most of the
Yes, it is doable. It requires extra work to fill in the gaps (those sweet components that visual-force used to have and lightning does not expose yet). I started that a year ago, every sf release it is harder due to additional restrictions, critical updates like data-access check and locker service.
It is not necessary to follow single-page approach though, unless the project requires. The app can be multi-page, can be spread across many visual-force pages, which wrap lightning using lightning-out
Should developers with many Apex controllers and Visual-force pages
really hope for more Base components come around or embrace the new
model and rewrite their pages for the new world?
From what customer support and their devs say - developers will get more components, however it is unclear which components will come first, which will be added after.
Some teams just use Lightning Design System styling to theme visual-force pages and happy with that. This is the easiest.
The other level of "lightning-embracement" is to fully rewrite screen-by-screen and code custom implementation for the components which are not released yet.
The passive approach is just wait long enough when there will be enough for relatively seamless development, like it worked with visual-force.