At my current state I must say I wish I never started with staff magic.
Waste of time and skill.
Is the benefit to small for you?
Compared to the time invested, most definately yes.
As alchemist I managed to reach 35 in staff magic, a total of 40 points in element skills, distributed between 3 and 16, and a total of 30 in the aspect skills, distributed between 6 and 11. Took me a bit over 1000 branches to work on, a quarter of which ended up as wands.
Of all of the wands available at my current level in magic, senior student, only a single one has a little use, the rest are more or less totally useless to me. And the amount of time required to even keep the skills are their currently low level far exceeds the amount of time required to uphold other non-magic skills. Same goes for working dropped skills up to par again. The magic ones require a lot more time and effort to regain than any of the other skills I have.
One thing that I really dislike is that some of the wands provide magic that an alchemist has access to via potions already. Granted, the wands one can simply create while the recipes need to be discovered, traded or simply "bought".
In its current state I would tell any alchemist that is not bound to become a mage to simply ignore staff magic. The language and font are nice to have, but thats about it. Wands can either be used, dropped or destroyed. You cannot sell them, so you cannot even make a coin with them. Unless you have a player that wants to buy them, but then again, without the staff magic skill, successful use of a wand is quite unlikely. I used some wands before I was high enough ranked with the alchemists to start staff magic myself, and before I had any skill in it, success rates were around 20 to 25%, which mean many wands got used up without producing the desired effect even once for the user.