I have had (am having) similar issues in learning vector editing.
I tend to use a few varied software packages.
l will list them below with my experiences as a linux user using virtualbox for windows applications.
Inkscape : free, all OS, I have not found it easy to use.
Vectric VCarve Pro: expensive, windows only, fortunately for me, a copy came with my CNC machine.
Rather costly especially if you do not need the “CNC” part of the package. MY FAVOURITE
Sure Cuts a Lot: around $60, windows and mac, I use this for tracing and simplifying (reducing node quantity). This package is used for the Brother ScanAndCut machine and is far more affordable, if a little restrictive with licensing one machine only. http://surecutsalot.com.
Affinity Designer: affordable Mac and Windows, I did try this and the 30 license trial ran out the first day, My daughter uses it on the mac and sends us files to cut on our laser, the files seem to have TOO MANY NODES and much editing to do, when she is far more adept at editing that I am.
The two I tend to use most is Vectric for editing and some tracing(at least I get my money’s worth out of it) and SureCutsALot for simplifying nodes and some tracing.
I am using these tools with cutting wood veneer with a diode laser to create marquetry. Early stages yet, my first piece seemed a great start.
Just my thoughts on my uses, hope it helps someone.