Equipment/Network spec help, please!

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w4cbl

New Around Here
Hi! I could use some help spec'ing a new Home Network. I am tired of weak Consumer solutions and am seeking a better way. I am a former UNIX admin with LOTS of pre-dhcp networking experience. :) I want to DCHP pass reserved IPs to each device by MAC address, and access control all wifi devices also by MAC address. I'm not inexperienced with pulling and terminating cable, and will buy best in class materials/tools to do so.

Currently my setup:

AT&T Gigabit Fiber with Arris BGW210 modem/AC router in IP-Passthrough mode with Wifi OFF, and a Netgear R7800 AC router/AP and one AmpliFi MeshPoint HD (AC). This has provided barely adequate service, particularly with heavy client loads or high bandwidth usage. AT&T is sending a new modem/AX router (Arris BGW320) and will arrive next week. My home is 2200sf (main floor) with a full basement. 1972 construction with brick outer walls and standard 2x4 and sheetrock interior walls. Basically, a rectangle 85 feet by 35 feet. The AT&T fiber drop and Netgear router is located in the basement at one end of the house and the AmpliFi MeshPoint HD is on the main floor at the other end of the house. I'm frankly shocked that this works at all, but it was all I could do at the time. The major problem in managing this setup is I cannot tell which clients are attaching to what AP, and the Netgear access control and attached devices functionality is abysmal.

In my basement office, there is a Win10 PC, CentOS NAS, HP Printer (all wired ethernet), and in the basement there are 2 RasberryPi devices controlling a 3D printer and a CNC Router. (using either 2.4G or 5G wifi) May also reinstall a PiHole at some point. Phone, Laptop, and Tablet (all WiFi 6 capable) are also used down here. 8 smart lightswitches/plugs as well. On the main floor of the house there is currently 3 Win10 PCs, 1-2 laptops, an Xbox, 5 TVs (Roku/Fire - One will be ethernet wired soon) and 4-5 phones and 4-5 tablets. A good dozen IoT devices. Frequent guests needing wifi. I would love to effectively bandwidth-limit a guest network, and VLAN segregate the kids devices, the IoT devices, The entertainment systems, and the "real" computers.

Probably 1/2 to 2/3 of these clients are sucking bandwidth at any one time. I am also looking to add some (maybe 4) security cameras and/or video doorbells in the near future. I will also want to provide wifi to my back deck/garage at some point ( currently unstable/unusable)

I have been researching for days now and my head is about to explode! I have considered a new ASUS AX11000 router and their 2-pack mesh solution (about $1200 USD) but I think that is a cludge and probably unreliable. I'm willing to spend in that ballpark, but I don't want to over/under buy. I don't want to redo my network every year or so, reinventing the wheel. I want to upgrade to AX wifi in the future with minimal muss and fuss. I have concluded to go with a Prosumer or SMB solution. One big question is how many APs will I need for my home?

Options I've researched:
1) UniFi solution (approx $1200): UDMPro or USGPro (current one), a USW-16-150 PoE switch, and APs (Which ones/how many???) Also, I know the network controller is included in the UDMPro, is it in the USGPro or will I need a CloudKeyPro-G2? If I go with the USGP, I'll need a CKP2 when I get some cameras. Should I buy the SFP cable to connect the switch to the UDMP/USGP? I am kinda leaning toward this solution and the UDMP, but have heard of the issues with it.

2) TP-Link Omada solution (approx $950 with 5 APs): TL-R605 or TL-ER7206 router, OC200 Management hub, TL-SG2428 PoE switch, and EAP245 APs. (How many?) I like TP link, and their Kasa SmartOutlets and lightswitches work flawlessly. Less costly than Unifi. I'll look at their PoE IP cameras and a NVR solution when I come to it. Any recommendations?

3) EnGenius (approx $1550): They apparently have no router/security gateway, so a pfSense SG-3100, EWS7928P PoE switch, SkyKey management hub, and EWS360AP x 4or5 (???) This is a more pricy solution, but I'm kind of leery about it as it is NOT an integrated solution for that price.

4) I'm willing to hack together a solution and live with unintegrated management if the price is right and the performance is there.

I'm looking for bang for buck, decent management, expand-ability (future proofing). I'm not afraid of any config issues or hassles. In the end, I want a sytem that I control, and just works. All opinions/advice is appreciated!
 

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