which for me at least doesn't seem much less cumbersome than creating the link
Yes, I think so too. For example, the spelling in the article often does not exactly match the title of the article. (eg singular / plural) And often it makes sense to refer to articles that do not exist yet. (This is in a wiki the regular method to create new articles.)
I assume there are a lot of exceptions that can not be handled correctly by an automatic. And to create a wiki link is by writing only four additional brackets.
Only my 5 cents - Michael Sy.