When I think about other DAWs, the audio and MIDI devices are set in the application’s preferences dialog but then creating a new session would definitely also set the device sample rate to match (I think/hope this might be the default-enabled option you are considering?).
Sadly it’s all more complex than this. There are increasing number of devices that can only run at 48kHz. So “setting the device sample rate” will fail unless the user happened to have opted for 48kHz.
If users actually want to just be able to say “use device Foo at 44.1kHz” from a startup dialog, then the entire DAW has to be able to resample everything and deal with everything that comes from having the hardware SR not match the intended SR.