"I really want to stop carrying my board on my back!"
That's exactly why you should by a splitty and don't worry about the transition times. There are tons of guys using this board in the sierra where the seasons go 6 months long and the conditions range from powder to (particularly in the spring) icy in the am to corn in the pm. So yeah, guys (and girls!) are riding these things and traveling on them in all conditions.
Transition time vs. skiers...a bit slower. Practice speeds it up though and if you just get to the transition area a minute before your skier friend you'll mititgate the difference anyway. It's minor..unless you're out trying to keep up with some rando racers, you'll be fine.
I've yet to meet a splitter who would ever go back to snow shoes unless it's a coolie straight up without any approach, even then, most will skin the apron and switch to boots.