When I first saw wp-now:
I wondered: why does this need npm and JS and WASM? Why hasn't anyone done this with static PHP binaries and some scripts?
So… while this currently requires some things to be pre-installed, I've done most the same thing (including using sqlite) with a simple bash script.
It's not (yet) as sophisticated. And perhaps there are still reasons not to do it. But let's see where it goes.