You seem to address a number of issues. I'll try to discuss them here:
1) Disenchanted with life. My wife and I both work in our community ED, so I understand the frustration with those who are taking advantage of the system. However, if you choose to stay in medical care, there will always be large amounts of redundant tasks, time management, and tedium. Most jobs have this, the specifics change, but the fact is that if you get good at your job a big part of that is figuring out how to do the tedium so you can focus on the unique, infrequent, exciting tasks and do them better. Many, most nurses I know in the ED live for the 5% of cases that are truly life threatening and will force us to use our skills to the fullest. Having said that, and having had two GSW get dropped of at our door the other day, I can tell you, and you probably already know, that when you get those cases, many want to revert back to the tedium of dealing with the day to day abdominal pains because the stress of the life threatening cases is overwhelming to most. So, there is a balance that seems to emerge and no one ratio or mix is perfect for all.
One of the ways, my wife and I deal with this issue is that we try to think of the people we have served that shift. As ER providers, we see alot of people who are scared of the unknown, in pain, and just want to be fixed. Yep, many times they made bad choices that got them there. Yep, they can often be rude, or short, or frustrated with the system. They might not have insurance, and might be scared to death of how they are going to pay for all this. In short, this is not a routine situation for them like it is those of us working there. So, if we can calm them down, remove some of the anxiety in the process, help them to know that they are going to make it through this, that in and of itself makes you a successful ED RN. Now, if you can take away their pain, treat them like a worthy human being, and identify and/or resolve their health issue, then you are super-human, and deserve to be very proud of your accomplishment. The fact of the matter is that you as an ED RN or as an ED provider (MD/DO/PA/NP) will do this for many patients every day. If you can take pride in it and feel like you are accomplishing something as a RN then you will be able to as a NP. If not, then it probably won't help your disenchantment to be treating these same patients every day as an NP either.
2) More analytical/training. Yes, NP is more analytical than RN which is more than..... The training in all of the things you mentioned is there in the program. Yes, many programs have some amount of "fluff" courses. Depending on the program they may be more or less "fluffy" and you may learn more or less of nothing. Remember that you tend to hear about either the best or the worst of something. So, if you are hearing about the "fluff" because it is what the students/alumni remember or want to talk about than the part they aren't telling you about is the patho, pharm, on, and on, and on. Those courses are there too, just they aren't the ones you are hearing about.
3) Independence/Quality of Education as a Provider. Let's first discuss the quality of education as a provider. Instead of taking anecdotal evidence from individuals who would likely be biased towards their own education, let's look at facts... If the NP education did not produce providers who were capable, then NP providers would produce worse outcomes in their patients. However, study after study shows this to not be the case, so I think we have scientific proof that there is no quality of provider issue, and thus, no quality of education issue. This is not only true for NPs, but as far as I know also true of PAs practice results.
Now, for independence. The real issue here is control over marketplace. It has very little to do with quality of care, as in most states that require a "collaborating physician" or whatever that state calls it, the physician doesn't actually have to see the pt, review the case, or do anything actually medical with the patient. If the patient needs a specialist, the patient still gets referred to the proper specialist, so that's not an issue. Really, the only issue at play is competition. Physicians don't want independent NPs because then they wouldn't be able to keep some of the revenue that the NPs bring into their practices! Who does it benefit? Physicians? yes. Patients? no. NPs? no.
4) Was it worth it? From a financial standpoint I will not make up the costs of my education. I'm too old for that. However, I'm not here to get rich. That's not why I choose this route, this career. I choose it because I wanted to touch people in the most meaningful way I could. I'm currently touching them in some way in my RN job, but as an NP I will be able to touch them in a much more meaningful way. I choose this profession because I want to be able to help people, and that includes the person who is in chronic pain, and has come into the ER for the fifth time in the last three days looking for pain meds. He needs help too. He wasn't born addicted to those meds, he deserves to have his pain controlled and help with his addiction. The ED isn't the right place for that, but he still deserves that much from us.
Healthcare can be a very difficult job emotionally, regardless of your role in it. I hope you are able to identify what is keeping you from being happy and what changes you need to make to become happy. If that is becoming a provider, then go for it, chase your dreams. If it is working with people, than becoming a provider will not change that. Taking the time to try to identify your issues and getting others to help you discuss them is a very good first step.