The test tube portal is one of the few "founding stage products" that make sense, but even it is just an accessory for the test tube setup and you could as well use an outworld immediately, although of course the portal is a much more convenient and space-saving option when you have a lot of queens (but then again, using it in large quantities is pretty costly when you could just use $2 plastic containers instead). BTW does the portal come with plugs for the slots you don't use?
There's a tutorial on how to use the dirt shacks somewhere on Formiculture. It's a decent setup for queens that do terrible in test tubes (there are a few of those) but for most ants even such a well-design founding formicarium isn't really worth it. Also it's too small for queens that could really need it, like Odontomachus trap jaw queens.
The main advantage of a well-done test tube is it's super low maintenance (don't forget to wash hands before making it, sounds obvious but you wouldn't believe how many people don't realize that most of the mold is brought into test tube setups by careless antkeepers in the first place) which means little disturbance for the ants - you can put an ant into a test tube and by using a paper tent as cover you won't have to touch the tube for MONTHS.
As such the portal is probably the "founding stage product" that makes the most sense. A founding formicarium for larger queens that do terrible in test tubes (like trap jaws or honey pots) could be a thing though.