Not so, if your bike is set up right. I can get to the bar-ends on my bike from the bar tops or the hoods by swinging my arm down. They're a lot more convenient that down tube shifters, at least for me. I also ride in the drops when I'm climbing because I engage more muscles (into my lower back) there, which gives the quads and hamstrings a break.
You may say I'm an outlier, that They Say you should be in the tops while climbing, and Everybody does it that way. Except for me, I suppose. Doesn't that emphasize that the choice of where to put the shifters is a personal choice?
Barends are far more convenient than downtube shifters, no argument there. However, I still maintain that for the majority of riders barends are awkward at best to reach from anywhere but the drops and that most riders do not climb any significant grade in the drops.
I expect you are indeed an outlier and of course you do have the choice of where to have your shifters. That said, I still consider barends to be an awkward shifter location compared to brake lever mounted shifters for most riders.