I think people underestimate Woodie a lot. Let me give you some examples from the problems with Woodie in the OP.
1. Woodie's total chopping speed is 4x compared to the other characters. Maxwell would need 3 clones in order to match him AND he'd have to chop himself too. To surpass Woodie, Maxwell would need all 4 chopper clones and he himself would have to dig up the stumps in the meantime. That's 8 nightmare fuel (which isn't much in the late game, but it limits his abilities in the early game), while Woodie can do it anytime for free.
2. The werebeaver form should only be used for chopping. If all you do as a werebeaver is chop trees in a controlled environment, you're not really putting yourself at risk.
3. Yes it can. Refer to my previous point. Unless you decided it's a good idea to do some log farming while fighting off a horde of spiders, you're not risking.
4. Refer to the 1st point.
That being said, I do think Woodie needs a rework since the beaver gameplay is simply not fun and I do agree with you on most of your points regarding what needs to be changed.
P.S. klei pls don't remove the pine cone sanity gain. Ignore the filthy wormwoods, Woodie had that perk first.