I agree. You've got to have the same layout (audio, SI etc) tracks to be able to copy and paste the audio configuration from one project to another.
I only use this feature if I'm using the same template in both projects, otherwise, like you, loading up custom saved channel strip settings is the way to go.
Would be great to have a more seamless way to copy and paste certain aspects of a project, including regions, track automation, channel strips etc.
That's reminded me, it would also be great to be able to copy and paste tempo maps between projects.