An HSA might be a good idea for some people. I have looked into it. In my case the limits are so low and the fees tend to be high or investment options so pathetic that it just isn't worth it. It's also not obvious how HSAs with play with the ACA.
Personally I have always invested in taxable accounts at a much higher priority. Money in that kind of account is unencumbered by future changes in tax policy and many other things that are unpredictable. But that choice has been made easy for me since I'm not eligible for Roth or TIRA contributons without complications.
I know you have an opinion on this non-diametrically opposed to my opinion, which is to say I am personally in favor of maxing out any and all tax-advantaged accounts, even if one intends to retire early. At least, that's what my spouse are doing. So with a grain of salt:
I think that if any account is worth contributing to, it's an HSA. I would definitely put it right behind "401(k) up to match" and well ahead of taxable accounts. There is no other account that is tax free both going in and coming out. Furthermore, depending on your situation (including both health and medical insurance), it might be a financial net gain to use an HDHP, since they usually have far cheaper premiums than a "normal" insurance policy. But even if it's breakeven or a little worse, gaining access to an HSA is arguably worth it.
You can typically avoid overly onerous fees and bad investing options by selecting your own HSA administrator. Most of the administrators out there are as terrible as you say. But there are a few that cater to the discerning consumer.