Texas and the Swamp have a plethora of ideas and approaches. New York can chime in here.
Having struggled to find a substrate option which I like and which is a little less harsh and limiting than Flourite alone or Flora Base, I find that I have come to a point at which I will either try to create my own by buying Akadama, Oiso sand, charcoal, peat, bacteria and... whatever else comes to mind as the research goes on or buy in another option from overseas when I go to Taiwan or Europe.
I have a good understanding of how a substrate can help to overcome some set up problems and am ready to go ahead with some new aquariums this year. The DIY aspect of substrate has certainly given me a science-fair understanding (along with university geology, chemistry and biology) and I am ready to leave that aspect in the care of someone who can provide what I need. Perhaps the ADA Powersand and Aquasoil will be a step up (I have placed an order to try them out).
Aside from the substrate and the various options of what you add to it , for instance Penac etc, there are many things to learn not only about the science of growing algae-free plants but also the art of rocks and plants. If I leave substrate in the hands of ADA, I can say there are many other things to occupy my time with.
Having ADA products introduces a new option to a somewhat deprived 1st world of planted aquariums in the United States. I am happy we have some new options now.