OK my 2 cents that are based on my limited experience:
A 8-10 hour take home test is excessive and a waste of your time. Just send an email to that affect and move on.
Don't bother trying to contact the company directly as they 100% know that the recruiter is doing this. They will have instructed the recruiter to do this. You sending emails will not make them change there stance or surprise them in any way.
For the future, if they are asking you to use a third party lib then if it's an open source popular lib (Say like react if it was a frontend job) then that's fine. If it's something specific for the type of software they sell then they might be looking for free work. The test should be something super generic i.e. something that any programmer could do it shouldn't require any domain knowledge if they are asking for domain knowledge in doing the test then I would stop the process.
Only do take home tests after you have had a initial interview. If a company is doing them as an initial screen (a lot are now-a-days) then it's a waste of time they most likely will never even get back to you.
The aptitude and personality test is something that large corporate companies do. It's insane, old fashioned and a waste of time but often is stipulated by the investors of the company that they do these. If it's a small company doing these then I would run a mile as they are clueless and probably run by someone who doesn't know what they are doing. If it is a large corpo then it's just part of the process a box ticking exercise but note that large corpos have a lot of useless jobs that are essentially exactly that .
Entry level positions seem to have the highest barrier to entry. That's because there are a lot of people applying to these jobs to get a foot in the door. Most of these people are woefully unqualified to even be in the industry. Once you get a job and have a few years experience there is less competition.
The process you are going through is normal for the tech industry now-a-days the interviews do actually get harder as you go up the ladder as there is higher expectations for someone with experience. Is this right or wrong is another age old discussion but regardless this is the current situation.
In terms of interviewing there are 4 main types of "technical" test that are often performed:
"whiteboarding" - which is where in an interview you are made to code/design/fix/explain a technical problem on a whiteboard live in front of your interviewer(s). It's just about the most stressful thing that occurs in the programming world and a lot of people struggle even though they are decent programmers.
Assessment - where you are left for 20-30 minutes in the interview with a list of questions. These will be trivia and can be accompanied with a programming exercise. This exercise can often be done either written as part of the questionnaire, in some kind of online IDE/ maybe even just a shared google doc or if in person they can leave you with a computer that normally has all the software installed that you need to complete the assessment. Google interviews like this with NP hard CS problems some companies copy this style to be more like Google. These are often automated in systems like leetcode or hackerrank.
Take home - You've seen this first hand. A test that is either explained in person or over email and then you are left to complete the test in you own free time. Some of these are timed in that a imaginary timer is started as soon as you see the test and the quicker you give a response the more favourable you are looked upon. The idea here is that you have time to do the normal things a programmer would do which is think through a problem ahead of time or google solutions all that jazz rather than be sweating in front of someone who's asking you to balance a binary tree live
These will come at various stages sometimes earlier sometimes later. I remember when take home tests started to appear in the tech community, it was something that was suggested that would supersede all other technical interviews but unfortunately what's happened is that companies are now using these as initial filters as doing phone interviews as initial filters drains the companies resources. Any company that is doing these at the initial stage has a lot of people applying for their job and is trying to use this before you get into their normal interview i.e. phone interview / onsite which will involve direct questions, assessments and whiteboarding. I think if it's further on in the interview process then they might be trying to use it instead of whiteboarding but I haven't seen that at all. If companies ask me for these I generally just move on as it slows down my application process. I would say if it's something short like 1-2 hours then probably that's OK.