Why is making a theme such a bad experiance?
To start the docs are so all over the place I could be completely wrong here but why is there no decent way to make a theme? Restarting every time to see a change is absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic.
It will even only recompile the assets that were changed.
Edit: also, if you want to avoid changing files in the first, you may want to learn how the devtools work so you can edit CSS live, and even add those changes to local files automatically.
Sorry to hear that making a theme is difficult for you :(
Like @Pitaj says, using grunt to autocompile assets immediately on save is the best way to reduce the time in between changes.
@psychobunny also has some tips and tricks that may be helpful for you