I grew up on full conservatory. It is not challenging at all--just gives you good alternatives to cover any situation.Me too, Franklin. I scratch my head when I see those fancy contraptions (politely called full conservatoire oboes). They look like Rubik's cubes in instrument form. Just the thought of trying to learn how to play that makes my poor little brain throb.
After years of classical oboe study and being asked by my teacher to go pro, I gave it up to go to the blessedly easy flute. The fingerings on oboe are easy, but the reeds are a nightmare from hell and the embouchure an endurance contest.