Previously, I've made the mistake of recommending tech items that I thought were good/have a cool feature/were good value for money. In the router space for example, this was frequently, "get a TP Link [or earlier, WRT54GL] and put DDWRT on it". This invariably proved to be a mistake since you can guess who actually got to put DDWRT on it and provide support forever more. Somehow tinkering with my own stuff to correct issues ( my own oversights) is far more fun than tinkering with other people's stuff.
What's your go-to recommendation for friends/family that want a new router? I am looking for something as straightforward and robust as possible, rather than something that has cool features or awesome (but potentially flakey) performance.
And while I am currently dipping my toe in the EdgeRouter pond at home, neither this nor a Mikrotik will be a starter in these circumstances. I just don't know enough (yet - touch wood) to be recommending one of these to someone else.
This particular query was prompted by a friend on HFC cable with a cisco modem, so it only needs to be a router, not modem+router recommendation. If it makes a difference, the house is pretty big and one of the first things I will be doing is suggesting he wire in (ethernet or powerline) some additional access points in place of the *6* wireless wifi extenders that have currently been deployed (that's not a typo). A recommendation of router + 1-2 access points that meet the initial criteria would be even better.
And I don't mind helping out (its a good friend, so "phone a pro" isn't that helpful in this context), but ideally I do want to help him set it up and then forget about it.