"big ugly computer box on the floor"
What?? Who says your router has to be "next" to the modem? And who says it has to be big? Here is a case for 3 nic alix board, its 6.5x6x1 inches -- thats smaller than you 610
(2.6 x 12 x 10 inches)
You clearly have some sort of box "I have my HTPC/Server" That box could be a VM host and pfsense could run in a VM - which just a wire from your modem.. Why you would have your modem in the kitchen is beyond me in the first place.
Your "router" could be where ever you want it to be - to say they have to be in the kitchen is crazy talk, or that they have to big big boxes?? I run multiple machines, my NAS and my router (pfsense) and its all on a N40L that is only 10.5" x 8.3" x 10.2" -- which is also smaller than your router
Just a bit thicker
It has 4 drives in it currently and only uses like 55 watts. Have it plugged into my killawatt so lets see has used in the last 6392 hours, 358Kwh -- what is that 266 days, and I pay about 12.5 cents per kwh so your talking 17 cents a day roughly to run my NAS, my router and all my play VMs - ubuntu, centos, freebsd, w7, 2k8, w8, etc. etc..
Your router might be able to do everything you want it to do - but sorry its not up to what I like to do on my network. The gateway/firewall between your network and the public internet has little to do with a wireless network. That you want to combine them into one simple little box with few actual networking features -- happy for you. But if looking for wireless coverage and speed - then that hangs off your wired network as AP, not also providing gateway/firewall/nat functions, etc.. Their little cpu/memory not really up to much of anything really.
But sorry it does not have to be a big box, nor does it have to be a power hungry box, nor does it have to sit next to where your modem is -- in your case the kitchen.
BTW - this thread is from jul/aug 2012