When I first started tatting I used a metal shuttle with the hook on the end and for many years I wouldn't change. Why you ask? 2 reasons, the first is that I'm embarrassed to say I didn't immediately grasp how you got the thread on the post style shuttles. Please keep in mind that I was using a bobbin style shuttle where you removed the bobbin to wind it. The second reason I wouldn't change was that I was not entirely convinced that a crochet hook would be easier to use than the hook on the shuttle. It just seemed like it would take too long and was one more thing to carry around.
I can't remember why I finally started to use the post style bobbin but now I wouldn't change from my clover tatting shuttles. It seemed onerous at first to use that crochet hook- you have to drop the shuttle and find the hook and it seemed to take so long to do. Now, I don't notice at all and in a very unhygienic manner I keep the hook in a place I won't forget, my mouth. I know, it's gross- can you say orally fixated?
Why am I thinking about this? Because I'm filling in time tatting with my shuttle and hook thinking how much harder this would be if I just had the pick to do joins. Now, I'm sure that there are other tools some tatters use more but I would argue that some sort of hook is an essential tool for tatting. What do you think?