I think those are good points about being realistic comparing rentals to pensions. But like everything in the investment world, there is a risk premium you can build into your rentals to more than compensate you for those issues.
For example, an annuity may pay 3% (I have no clue the real rate) and a rental may pay 8%. For $100,000 invested that's $3,000/year vs $8,000/year. Big difference when we all need to make the most of our limited net worth.
And bought correctly, that 8% is AFTER paying for property management, reserves for vacancy, maintenance, and reserves for capital expense big ticket items.
And while it's very true rentals require more work up front, they can be extremely passive depending upon the property you buy. For example, two free and clear single family houses in good neighborhoods with long-term tenants and third party management will require VERY little time. Based on my experience, it's 3-5 hours per month (and that's just reviewing reports and bookkeeping from any location).
Beyond all of that - real estate protects you from the risk of inflation, economic chaos, and even deflation if you own your properties free and clear. Pensions are nice for what they are, but they're brittle and inflexible for those risks.
Just food for thought! Great topic.