I have a feeling that's the path I'm taking, although not because of the notch. I got a Pixel 1 mini because the difference in screen sizes wasn't enough to justify the massive phone. I went Pixel 2 XL because it was a massive difference in screen sizes due to bezelzilla.
I really really *really* loved having a smaller phone this last year. I hardly dropped it, it fits into every pocket, and it's comfortable to keep on me during outdoor activities. (It certainly saved my ass during SUP two weeks ago.)
Every Android phone has shit haptics (except LG) so it’s nothing Android phone users aren’t used to. And I have never been happy with auto brightness on my Pixel (Oreo or even Pie). I always found Apple’s implementation better.
The big three things the Pixels having going for them are UI Smoothness, Camera, and 3 Years of day one software updates. Honestly, I’m getting a little bored of the Pixels..maybe all phones are boring as your wrote. But Google’s lead in those three areas are getting smaller.