Great that you kept your word and gave feedback. Factual criticism is important and right.
The LineageOS Android distribution has been developing LineageOS 17.1 since April 2020. My first installation on the Samsung Galaxy S9 (starlte) is with lineage-17.1-20200530-nightly-starlte-signed. The LineageOS Wiki had exemplary from the beginning the “Warning: Before following these instructions please ensure that the device is on the latest Android 10 firmware.”
/e/ Interested parties had until 25 January 2021 rather the problem that they could not downgrade an S9 / S9+ equipped with stock Android 10 due to Samsung’s bootloader policy to be able to install the official /e/OS 'O’reo.
Now, the S9 / S9+ can be switched to the /e/ OS ‘Q’ with any stock Android 10 version. Installing the stock Android 10 version with Security Update Decmber 2020 makes sense, as important firmware areas are updated, which LineageOS and /e/ OS then rely on.
LineageOS 17.1 builds on the source code of Android 10 published in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It is no secret that /e/ OS builds on the open source code of LineageOS and then creates its modifications. Compare the supported devices of both CustomROMs.
AOSP is currently also used by Huawei to equip their new smartphones with Android 10 even without the Goolge licenses. The AOSP 10 UI can also be found in custom ROMs from crDroid and Havoc-OS and others. The basic set of apps is very similar everywhere. The launchers have always been a divide of opinions. I like the BlissLauncher with its icon display.
I don’t use the pre-installed apps with either LOS 17.1 or /e/ OS ‘Q’. LineageOS 17.1 “Jelly” browser still phones home and I still don’t trust the /e/ weather app. Here I am quite consistent and uninstall resp. deactivate all apps for which I have a good alternative - namely the apps from the SimpleMobileTools suite. From dialer to clock, but especially the powerful pro versions of draw, filemanager, notes, galleray, contacts and calendar are appreciated. Instead of the SMS messenger, I use ‘Silence’ for encrypted texting with my friends. All apps are from the F-Droid store. The Pro versions are free, in the Google Play Store they cost a few cents. For me there is no reason to change the operating system because of an annoying app. I just change the app.