but when it comes to artistic composition and you want to use the benefits of using both troy_s's Settings and the default film emulation
I am going to guess that you mean the existing looks. I would advise against them, simply because they are not reliably actually delivering film emulation. That is, the data they were sourced from was actual data, however the way in which they are applied is incorrect. They are effectively random Instagram filters with no meaning. If you mean the ridiculous "Film" transform, it is utterly broken with a horrible label.
That sums up to both groups of transforms as effectively being technically meaningless, and as a result would conflict with the goals and technical output of the filmic-blender set.
you have to stop your work, close blender, replace the ocio files, restart blender and so on.
While true that a restart is required due to how Blender was designed when OCIO was added, it should be pointed out that Blender will respect the OCIO environment variable. Example:
While it is still a pinch point, this technique might make remote rendering etc. easier for some.
Is there a better way to work this out? Is it maybe possible to use the film emulation settings as compositing nodes, similar to a filter in PS or Gimp?
GIMP is broken in many horrible ways that I won't go into, and will remain that way into the foreseeable future. No it is not feasible nor doable without many contortions.
Photoshop as well, while not completely broken as GIMP is, is also strictly a display referred imaging application and makes these sorts of transforms challenging at the base level. It can read some LUT formats, but it is likely complex to list the events here.
What exactly are you hoping for out of the "Film Emulation" set and I can take a look at it.
Again though, I am reluctant to include random knob twiddling in the set, as I am already faced with two design directions (Views vs Looks) that pull against each other.