I pump from a lake using a 1.5 HP pump which I would never allow to cycle. It is an irrigation pump not designed for sustained cycling. I added a mechanical pressure relief value after a lighting strike damaged a Rain Bird controller, turning on the Pump Control relay with no Zones open. Luckily the pump housing expanded with the excess heat allowing the discharge pipe to slip slightly providing a path for the hot water to flow. Otherwise the pump would have been damaged. I do turn On multiple valves with a single zone.
You are absolutely right that there are configurations where one Zone only is an impediment. I used Rain Bird controllers before moving to the EZFlora and none of them allowed more than one Zone on at a time.