With the ZHA component being a native integration it really makes ZHA a very good entry point for Home Assistant beginners, so IMHO each additional feature that makes it even simpler and easier to use is great news for new users. Super fun when HA beginners say “plug and play” and “it just works”.
However, I think the ability to easily make backup and perform recovery should be equally important.
The only thing we do know for sure is that the official “Amber” hardware appliance for Home Assistant will come with a Silicon Labs (EZSP) based Zigbee module and that those are only working well with ZHA today. So my guess, therefore, is that Nabu Casa / Home Assistant founders will prioritize ZHA.
“Home Assistant Amber includes the latest and greatest Zigbee radio chip from Silicon Labs to communicate with smart devices in your home. The chip is forward-compatible with the upcoming Matter smart home connectivity standard, in which Silicon Labs is heavily involved.”
…and while Zigbee2MQTT did get initial support for Silicon Labs (EZSP) Zigbee adapters that code was all done by one developer and he is no longer maintaining it in Z2M so there is no future roadmap for Silicon Labs (EZSP) support in Zigbee2MQTT.
ZHA is the only Zigbee implementation that is a natively integrated component of Home Assistant so I hope that the Home Assistant founders will primarily promote that over third-party integrations, but I have not read anywhere that ZHA is “the officially sanctioned future path for zigbee on HA” or that “HA devs have identified zigbee with ZHA as one of two protocols for communication between a HA system and zigbee compliant devices”.
I assume that the other of the two protocols mentioned is Z-Wave, and it is understandable that the Z-Wave userbase in Home Assistant will be much easier to grasp as there is really only Silicon Labs based chips for it so far and most users will probably the Z-Wave JS integration for that if they are not using commerical gateways/bridges/hubs like Samsung SmartThings Hub, Telldus Live, and Fibaro Hub.
Too me it does not sound like the statistics from Home Assistant Analytics give much insight into Zigbee users because can not really tell how many users or who is using what type of devices in third-party integrations unless the proprietary gateway/bridge/hub in practice only support one single protocol (like IKEA Trådfri Gateway and Philips Hue Bridge), see discussion here:
If you switch to either a newer “Texas Instruments” (ZNP) or “Silicon Labs” (EZSP) based Zigbee dongle then you can automate backups via Batch Scripts using “zigpy-znp” or “bellows” CLI tools respectively.
…but for ConBee/RaspBee I believe that using the deCONZ application and its GUI is the only way to backup them(?) so in that case not easy to automate ConBee/RaspBee backups if using ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT(?).