After some more experimenting it seems that the issue doesn’t lie with my system, but with the reedsolo pip package. After installing warpinator and it’s dependancies, pip install --user esphome doesn’t work. Without those added packages it installs fine.
Why this happens? No idea!
going with the AUR esphome package, as recommended by @Pudge, is probably the best call.
Somewhat off-topic, but something I learned the hard way…
I’d recommend reading up on Virtual environments to create a self-contained Python environment in which you can install whatever you want with pip, without it conflicting with your system down the road.