Don't trust what others say, make your own opinion based on your own criteria and your own thorough evaluation.
I did the same exercise and I found FreeBSD to be a very high quality OS. But you have to be aware that what FreeBSD people call "FreeBSD" is the "base OS", i.e. the equivalent of the Linux kernel + the GNU base utilities + a few other pieces of software required to have a bootable system.
The FreeBSD people like to say that "Ports are not FreeBSD". What they call "ports" is what NetBSD and Linux call "packages", that is all the applications available for installation on top of your base system.
My evaluation, based on my very own criteria, led me to the conclusion that although FreeBSD is a very fine OS, its "ports" are a huge mess I find unacceptable in the 21st century - which, unfortunately, makes the base OS useless for me. If FreeBSD had a proper package management system, including proper dependency management, I'd be using it.
That said, many people in the FreeBSD community think otherwise and deem FreeBSD quite suitable for any use, including desktop.
So if you're interested in FreeBSD, make your own assessment, based on your own criteria. Nobody else can do it for you. And of course, the same applies to anything, not just software.
As to the "future of FreeBSD", it only depends on corporate funding. As long as a few big companies will keep using it, FreeBSD will remain what it is, no matter how "bloated" (an adjective having as many definitions as users, BTW).