We present an account of the current status of the theoretical treatment of inclusive (d, p) reactions in the breakup-fusion formalism, pointing to some applications and making the connection with current experimental capabilities. Three independent implementations of the reaction formalism have been recently developed, making use of different numerical strategies. The codes also originally relied on two different but equivalent representations, namely the prior (Udagawa-Tamura, UT) and the post (Ichimura-Austern-Vincent, IAV) representations. The different implementations have been benchmarked for the first time, and then applied to the Ca isotopic chain. The neutron-Ca propagator is described in the Dispersive Optical Model (DOM) framework, and the interplay between elastic breakup (EB) and non-elastic breakup (NEB) is studied for three Ca isotopes at two different bombarding energies. The accuracy of the description of different reaction observables is assessed by comparing with experimental data of (d, p) on 40,48Ca. We discuss the predictions of the model for the extreme case of an isotope (60Ca) currently unavailable experimentally, though possibly available in future facilities (nominally within production reach at FRIB). We explore the use of (d, p) reactions as surrogates for (n, γ) processes, by using the formalism to describe the compound nucleus formation in a (d, pγ) reaction as a function of excitation energy, spin, and parity. The subsequent decay is then computed within a Hauser-Feshbach formalism. Comparisons between the (d, pγ) and (n, γ) induced gamma decay spectra are discussed to inform efforts to infer neutron captures from (d, pγ) reactions. Finally, we identify areas of opportunity for future developments, and discuss a possible path toward a predictive reaction theory.