I don’t mind (de)soldering, but that quickly turns into another rabbit hole of desirable equipment (at least for me it did). Hotswap is awesome. It makes this entire hobby so much more approachable.
But, honestly, USD 500+ is an obscene amount of money. That doesn’t include switches (between USD 25 and 60 in this board’s case), and keycaps (easily USD 100 if you want to do the expected quality of the board justice).
I reckon it’s the design that attracted you in the first place, but there’s cheaper ways to check out a 5x12 ortholinear. Be on the lookout on /r/mechmarket for a Preonic, they can be had for under USD 200. There’s a pre-order running for a board called PAN, which Jake from P3Dstore is designing a case for.
Edit: I forgot, if you just want to dip your toes in the mech world (and I know this is nothing like Atlas), there’s NovelKeys NK65v2 coming up. The sub-USD100 Entry Version is an excellent value proposition (and doesn’t look like every other board).