Network issues at home – continue

Help. I need some help.

Quick recap.
We had a Linksys WRT54g router running Tomato firmware for the longest time.
It finally got too slow with a bunch of devices and faster Fios.
Retired it for a Asus RT-AC68u. 1 year and 3 weeks latter, its WAN port died.
Drama ensured.
Ran down to BestBuy and bought a Linksys WRT1900ACS. Thinking it was the sweet spot for power and performance.
It has no static DHCP and so made a total mess of my network.
It’s last straw was that the VPN only works if your internal lan is 172.0.x.x address space, so I would need to readdress around 50 devices just to use their VPN. No. Just. No.

So, took a step back and thought, time to man up. Get a real router.
Looked at pfsense. Did not like the idea of running another PC as my router.
Looked at Microtik (Dan gave me one a while back), but could not find a clear walk through on how to set up as a router, it is probably the best option, but very complicated and probably a huge time sink.

Decided to go with a Ubiquity EdgeRouter Lite. Not happy.
It took around 5 hours to get it in and limping. Its fast, but does not have the features I need (DNS, Static DHCP and VPN).
Running the busted WAN port AC68 as a Wifi AP with it.

This is where we are at now.
Its last straw was in trying to turn on the VPN it took down the whole network and I had to drive home to reset it. (Terry has online classes, we can not be without the internet for a whole day).
I have never had to do a truck roll to fix my network before, that is just totally unacceptable. (Think about it, tick the VPN box, click save and lock yourself out???).

So, we have the EdgeRouter in and running the place for the moment. I can take a breath (sorta).

What do I do?
I really need VPN. I have around 100mbs speeds, and want to keep that.
We have around 50 devices total. Solid mix of wired, 2g and 5g.
We have 23 port forward rules.

Looking at the usual mix of Nighhawk, Archer, TP-Link and Netgear is a mess.
I can not find one router that has those features.

I am looking again at pfsense. Wish I could install it on my headless Ubuntu server, but it seems to be a VM on a PC that has a desktop GUI or physical machine only.

Budget of around 300 bucks. (For just the router, or combined).

Help. I need some help.