No, you're missing the point of Cockpit (Crew) Resource Management (CRM). The idea is to split the responsibilities. One pilot looks after aviating, and the other can focus on checklists. It is not either or, it is "do both."That doesn't mean that in general turning around is a better use of time than a restart checklist.
In the Eastern 401 crash linked above. All three (maybe 4) people in the cockpit focused on a malfunction, leaving nobody to fly the plane. Out of that accident came the doctrine of CRM.
Flying straight and level out to sea, allowed autopilot while both human pilots focused on something else. Flying circles near the airport would have forced them to split up, with one flying and the other doing something else.