VSCode remote got contributions even from dedicated Facebook engineers (as I wrote in my other blog post): https://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2019/11/21/fb-vs-code.aspx
I know a company whose DevX team has built custom plugins for VSCode to support internal technologies. To me it's proof that people want a good experience OOTB and quite a threat to the longevity of emacs
VSCode remote has good performance because it doesn't delegate to SSH connections for every single action. as Ivan said, they implement their own client-server communications, which are much more efficient
emacs has a client AFAIK, I don't know much about that, but would it be possible to start a remote server (or is the remote machine a client?) and connect from your workstation?