Apparently, the rationale of most pro players never getting hatchet is that obviously, you don't want it on ranged heroes, and on melee heroes, you can outlasthit ranged heroes anyways. When you're melee vs melee, it becomes a sort of prisoner's dilemma where if both players blow 225 gold, they're no better off than when they started, so both players opt to get more essential items. In melee vs ranged, a shield is often preferred, or even simply more regen.
@the players here more skilled than I (1700+ plz): Do you still get hatchet very often as a melee hero? I'm thinking of trying to not rely on it so hard; I can think of far better places this early 225 can be used.