I picked it up on sale for about $20 a few months back and I have DEFINITELY gotten my money's worth. I too saw its reception at launch and was wary, but I have about 150 hours in it. Thanks quarantine.
As for inventory issues (and discussion of normal vs survival), playing normal mode made inventory management a lot easier for me, since you can carry larger stacks than you can in survival mode. It's less of a challenge given that you can recover your items after death, but otherwise seems about the same. As you progress and unlock more inventory slots, storage containers, and exocraft (where you can store items as well), inventory space becomes less of an issue.
If you can find NMS on sale, I'd highly recommend it if you like this sort of game. But don't go after it for the story
Sidenote: I scanned a plant earlier today, with a procedurally generated name of "Y. Washpuusae" and that name making me laugh for a good five minutes might have been worth the price of admission by itself. And yes I took a picture.