There are ways around the experience but they are very expensive. (e.g. first class, TWIC card, etc.)
That's a valid point - as a DoD civilian, I get PreCheck automatically for free when I travel, ....... it is nowhere near Don's claimed "very expensive".
You'll notice that I didn't say that PreCheck itself was expensive. A TWIC was included with a list of items, including first class, that would make air travel more bearable but were expensive. VIPs don't go through the same experience as everyone else. They pay extra to use the lounge, fly up front, board last, get off first and bypass the lines.
First Class passengers do not automatically get Pre-Check. They can access elite security lines (where available), but that only gets them to the ID check point. They may bypass a longer line, but they do not necessarily bypass any line. From that point on, they get full security. Signing up for Pre-Check or other known traveler programs is the only (almost) sure way to ensure getting Pre-Check. Random Pre-Check selection for non members of KT programs is becoming less frequent. Pre-Check has lines as well, but generally not very long and they move quickly. So, it is possible that a "VIP" without Pre-Check will have a longer security process than a low-fare coach passenger with Pre-Check. Simply being a "VIP" does not by itself do much as far as the security process is concerned.
As for boarding, F passengers board first, not last. They can exit the plane first simply because they are seated up front. Elite members of the airline programs also get earlier boarding, but the ease of getting off the plane is a function of where you are seated, not who you are.
Rolling back to the subject, I find that Amtrak long distance travel is not very useful to me as transportation. When I take an LD train, it is because taking the train is reason I am traveling. If all I want to do is get from A to B, and when A to B is more than a few hundred miles, then air is pretty much it for me. We have family in eastern Montana. We have visited them ten times in the last two years (from the Philly area). Had we taken Amtrak, those ten trips would have necessitated forty nights on trains.
I think personality is also a factor. Enjoyment of Amtrak long distance travel is enhanced if a person has somewhat of a laid-back personality. People who can put away their watch, turn off the phone (and other devices), and can simply sit back and enjoy the ride are made for Amtrak long distance travel (see several prior posts). That is not me. I want to be connected, and I want to get there. I once asked my wife if she thought I had a "Type A" personality. She just laughed. Type A people and Amtrak LD's are not a good mix.