I think I have a wrecked HD thimble like that in my "winching stuff" box. I agree, they are wayyyyy better than the non plated ones and a million times better than the non tubular ones, but you can still tweak them.
I don't understand what's wrong with a proper safety hook. No need to use shackles when just using a winch line on a tree strap or something. So much faster/simpler.
PS : I do have all kinds of shackles (metal and soft), tree straps, long straps, pulleys (snatch blocks and low friction style), but for a regular recovery I'm not using any of that stuff.
Edit : This is a safety hook. Impossible to use it the wrong way. It closes on its own for safety as soon as there is load on it. Rigging pros will use this all day long.
Nothing wrong with a hook, honestly the only reason I use a shackle in mine is because it came with it. I may actually go back to using a hook so I don't have to sit my beer down to hook up a tree strap.