I'm sure there are people that are using that kind of network setup successfully, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is "recommended" - where did you get that information from? As far as I know, LMCE should always be the gateway/firewall to the Internet, and your LMCE devices should be on the internal network. Your network setup might be the cause of many of your problems.
There are sometimes issues to overcome, yes, the system is insanely complicated after all, but it needs to be to do what it can do, which is something that no other "distro" even comes close to. This does not make it temperamental; once it's set up and running correctly, I have found it to be very stable (as you'd expect from any Linux-based system). Also don't forget this is beta software we're talking about here.