Another very satisfied Ubiquiti user here. I'll admit that I have probably gone a little overboard with about $30k invested at this point on their gear. Granted, a large portion of that is my 20kW solar array that I'm currently installing.
Anyway, on the wireless router front, I tried various solutions from NetGear and TPLink, but they all had one issue or another and keeping them updated was a pain. My house is pretty big, so I had to use several APs to cover everything, plus I wanted access outdoors and at my shop located 200 feet away from the main building. I also wanted to connect my network to my mom's house about 1 mile down the road, and run an AP there as well.
I also ran pfSense for a while, but really wanted a one-stop solution, so Ubiquiti's UniFi was it for me. I run their Pro Gateway, several of their PoE switches, and AC APs (and some older LR ones as well). I even have a 10GigE between my main media server and the core UniFi switch. Also run Ubiquiti G3 security cams.
For the 200' shot down to the shop, I use a pair of airMAX devices, which, for all intents, is like a wireless Ethernet cable. For the 1 mile shot to mom's house, I got a dark fiber connection with a pair of 850nm transceivers on either end connected direct to SFP ports on the UniFi switches. Rock solid GigE connection.
I just love the ability to manage and maintain the entire network from a single pane, namely the UniFi controller. As others have stated, it doesn't have to be running for the APs to be functional, but I like keeping it running at all times (on my media server) so that I can gather stats from client usage, etc.