Your simplistic view of (classical) music, I would propose, has unfortunately led you to your tidy and convenient posit. It is like you are buying clothes or shoes and have no concern for what size they might be. What if they do not fit? You may eventually grow into something but you also have to acknowledge that some things you have outgrown and have to move on from.
Classical music is largely about interpretation and finding your fit (to match your personality). There is no definitive version but an endless mix of variables that either lead you closer to being a good fit at this point in time or not. Again, this is an individual assessment (subjective) and as one grows in maturity and intellect the outcome will obviously change over your lifetime. What fits for you won’t necessarily fit for myself?
Another example might be that if you like a meal you generally thank the Head Chef and not the guy who pealed the potatoes or the cow who donated the steak. The Head Chef is responsible for all the little details in preparation including how it tastes (adding just the right amount of spices and how long to cook etc). The Conductor is like the Head Chef.
I am probably the wrong person to answer your main questions here though as I have some rather harsh views about symphonic music. I much prefer solo music and small chamber works (typically 1 to 5 or 6 players max.). This allows for a conversation and everyone’s viewpoints are heard and can be distinct. Symphonies are like having large groups of people (who have no voice) except through the conductor. Only one subservient voice is allowed. This is a union. This is one master over many slaves. And we all know that unions lead to mediocrity.
So this is why you only see the conductors name listed prominently as you are selling his image and stature. It is his vision and his interpretation that is given and consequently his brand represented on the flag flying on the flagpole. If you don’t like it you don’t blame the poor sod playing the triangle. You blame or praise the conductor.
I think the composers name should always come first but the secondary identifier should then be the one who is responsible for the interpretation. In symphonic music, this is the Conductor. The exception is for concertos where you have soloists. In this case, the ranking should be Composer, Soloist(s), Conductor, and then Orchestra or group name.
Like it or not, in classical music there is no such thing as one definitive version of anything. Unless you believe in a one size fits all outcome you will never stop at just one version of anything. Yes, composer name is first but who is responsible for the interpretation should be acknowledged next.