When I asked a similar question, the answer was essentially no. But it has improved, retuned and expanded so much that it’s definitely worth a try.
Whenever browsing the wiki, I sometimes stumble on some discussion of the changes and find it surprising how much really wasn’t there until last year.
And, it appears you may have played around Patch 1.3 which was almost 3 years ago.
I like base building in this game because it strikes a better balance between functional and complication. On one side, you have games like Terraria or Starbound, where it looks to me players mainly build for the sake of building, whereas my bases tended to be pretty shabby as I could never muster much enthusiasm for the process once my functional needs were met.
On the other, you have something like Minecraft where setting up certain things can be considered a puzzle, and a rather challenging one in some instances.
I don’t know much about base building in Subnautica because ultimately I decided that I was not sold on some basic design decisions that instead tend to earn the game a lot of praise (which I find greatly overstated, but YMMV).
As for QoL, however, Subnautica has dependency based crafting, where the player decides to craft an end product and the game tends to the intermediate steps.
In NMS, if you’re building something like a Stasis Device (top-tier, uber-valuable tradable), you need to go through all the steps manually.
This is offset by the fact that the vast majority of items do not have tall multi-tier recipes, so in practice it’s not a biggie.
Also FWIW, I do enjoy putting together these things as it’s kind of a memory puzzle and it makes in-game sense that I have to put in some work in return for something so valuable.
Goes without saying that there are major differences between Subnautica and NMS, so IMO comparing the two is of limited usefulness. But the UI, inventory and crafting are often compared to one another, probably because they came out at around the same time.
Even then I think some perceptions about NMS were colored by the trash fire that surrounded release.
One last thing. concerning the whole get-to-the-center thing you mention – NMS is in some ways akin to a TES game: they give you a starting point, what you do from there is what you fancy doing. AFAIK some players are not interested in getting to the center and may have accrued stellar (pardon the pun) amounts of playing time without ever even attempting it.
I’ve begun to entertain the notion recently, since I am now filthy rich, have almost everything, but this comes after 250 hours of playing at my own pace.