I don't understand how the 32 second limit is a problem when the SP-16 is clearly designed for 4 bar loops. Its not a DAW and it's not suited to trimming samples or chopping. It doesn't have to be. But it does pattern sequencing extremely well.
As much as I don't really like dragging on touch screens, dragging the markers on the sample is the best way to get to somewhere fast then fine tuning it with the controller.
You have to look at new gear with new eyes. The MPCs I have owned were exactly what I thought they were going to be. The SP-16 does things differently and concentrating on the things you are used to doesn't do it justice. It's not the box to take a sample and screw with it like old school. I used to take a sample on the MPC, trim it, stretch it, pitch it, put fx on it until it sounded nothing like the original. MPC still has a place for me. The SP-16 doesn't inspire me to do that but the sequencing is far far better than bangin the pads to record a pattern. And step modulating the hell out of a sample is something the MPC could never hope to achieve.