>>43655669>Every single online resource and chaos space marine player disagrees with you
No they don't. While they're by no means a great choice, they're not absolute garbage. It's absolutely true that Cult troops are better for specific roles (and Noise Marines > Plague Marines at least 3/4 of the time) and Cultists are cheap, Marines are more flexible than Cultists at taking on MEQ, especially since, unlike loyalists, they can get a CCW for dirt cheap and marks/icons can make even a basic squad quite effective in combat.
That said, I run Noise Marines as troops, but I have had not-shitty results with Marines themselves. They're okay, they're just not miracle workers by any definition, and good at presenting enough of a credible threat to most targets to merit having fire focused on them instead of more valuable targets, and those who ignore them for the more valuable targets can find them to still pack more of a punch than they expect them to.
They could really, really use a buff, and most Cult choices are better (Cultists are only better if you're simply trying to fill out the troop requirements, as they get deleted pretty goddamn fast by anything with a blast template) but they are still usable if you don't expect miracles from them.