I don’t think it would be different if you think only about it as a “grouping”. But a VCA is much more than that, and I’m not sure what you describe would do what the VCA is capable of, or at least as easily as a single fader on the mix board. Two points:
(1) the SOS article I posted has a single paragraph that I think really sums up the value. I repeat it here:
Well, for one thing, the existing system can cause problems with post–fade effects. If you are adding reverb to individual tracks from a post–fade send, and use a conventional group channel and fader to bring down the level of all those tracks, you will end up with a wetter signal, because the gain has been reduced in the dry path but the wet path has stayed the same. If, however, you use a VCA group, the group fader is changing the gain of each channel, so the amount of signal fed to the post–fade send also reduces by the same amount and the dry/wet balance is maintained. Another advantage of VCA groups is that you can ‘group’ channels that are routed to different outputs, which would be impossible using conventional grouping and group faders.
(2) A VCA appears on the mixer as a separate fader, whereas, if I understand what you are saying above, you’d have a knob on the end of each track’s device chain that you wanted to control, or at best, create a separate track with a tool that is then linked to all of those individual knobs to create an equivalent VCA control “group”, but that seems like a lot of work where in PT and Logic you select a bunch of tracks and create a VCA which appears on the mixer as a normal fader. I’m not sure that still addresses the post-send effect issues.