Splines in max vs curves in Blender

I’ve been trying to move from Max to Blender but one of the last big things that bother me is the curves system.

I find the max Splines to be quite robust, with a “what you see is what you get” approach. You can easily add and manipulate point, fillet or chamfer them, boolean them, have curve types, turn them into a mesh non destructively while you make changes.
On the other hand Blender’s feels very poor with the opposite approach, “what you see is not what you’ll get”. If I use a curve and tubify it it looks completely different than the curve. They’re also visually very noisy with all the arrows showing the direction.

One of the main reasons I use curves is because Max only has straight bridging so any cylinder that has fillets in them I use splines instead.

Am I looking at splines vs curves wrong? Or is there a decent addon for curves to make them more solid?

Flexi bezier Tool : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9PXp0XHgYQ&feature=youtu.be
Bevel curve tools : [Addon] Bevel Curve Tools (now works with Blender 2.8)