While following people's boosts and hashtags is enough for me, I understand why some people new to chronological timelines are fearful they will miss out on popular posts.
It might be interesting if each instance had a "trending" account you could follow that routinely boosted the latest popular posts. That would be opt-in and it doesn't mask the rest of your timeline.
I think lists are an underused feature which addresses most people's concerns.
@kyle II picked the Most Active / followed People / TOP50 on this Instance in a List, thats somehow working quite well for me.