You would always and in every case recommend the device over TP-Link Archer C2600?
I used to buy a lot of TP-Link gear. But there was a period where what I was buying would not allow the install of OpenWRT. It was a purposeful decision by TP-Link related to USA regulation stuff (but TP-Link was not required to lock people out; they did it anyways). Anyways, I don't buy TP-Link anymore. I dislike the company now because of the problems I had.
Do I recommend the Netgear R7800 over the Archer C2600? Yes. The R7800 is getting lots of attention and work on it. TP-Link I'm sour on. But the R7800 has better CPU and more Flash MB. If money is an issue, I would buy the ZyXEL NBG6817. I really like the Linksys WRT models but not for wireless, it is a real shame the wireless has so many problems.
Do you happen to remember, what were the exact differences? The price of the ZyXEL and the Netgear are quite equal here.
I think they have the same exact hardware. The only difference is the external looks and design of how the hardware is stacked on the inside (I guess). the ZyXEL is less expensive in USA (consistently) than the R7800 on Amazon.com by $30. The ZyXEL doesn't have as many external lights as the R7800 but LEDE can't work all the R7800 lights anyway.