Try designing a product without flaws, or bugs, the very first time you release it. Good luck with that They're only human, and unfortunately, humans aren't perfect either, but I wouldn't like scraping them...
I can understand the frustration about things not working properly the first time around, but this was a release that was long due. System firmware needed to be upgraded. Since the photon works quite differently than the Core does, a different approach was needed.
That said, I'm not saying the updater is perfect yet, but that's why they'll keep improving it. If you have to stall things until you're a 110% sure there will never ever be a bug in the real world, we'd still be living in caves hunting gazelles... The fact that it tries to fix a potential failure is already a failsafe that has worked pretty well for most people so far.
It fixed a whole bunch of other issues, like malfunctioning I2C. If it weren't for the updater, the story would've been:"why don't you fix I2C, you should hash out the issues literally breaking your customer's products they bought already."
So yeah, mixed feelings. But enough about that, let's just try to get your device working again...
Have you tried
particle update using the CLI already (make sure your device is in DFU mode)?
Alternatively, try flashing an app over DFU, like Tinker for example.
particle flash --usb tinker when in DFU mode.