Gnome, but less Ubuntu-like (suggestions, default apps...)

So I’ve been KDE-ing for a good year now, and I went from enthousiast, to addict, to sick. I gave up counting how many KDE-related crashes I had, and KDE customization makes me go obsessive about every tiny detail no one even thought about… so I think it would be healthy to switch (back) to Gnome.

By the way I’m still struggling with a kernel panic as I write, on my main computer: if anyone has any knowledge about kernels not loading at boot, please lend a hand: this is the thread.

However, basic install yields a frustratingly clustered with “default this - extra that”, by which I mean mainly a lot of apps I don’t want (I’ve probably installed too much Gnome stuff…); some software installed for sure that don’t even list in my apps in Gnome (I have to run them from terminal, and that includes my main browser, Vivaldi!), and honnestly I’m feeling a bit lost in it, because I used to have so much control over everything, and now I don’t (or likely I do but don’t know how).

I’d like to start over, reinstall Gnome in a better way, which will hopefully bring as little litter software and as much of my “old” (by which I mean that I installed them and used them only in KDE so far) software as possible.

And also, general advice for this transition would be much welcome.
I last used Gnome years ago and back then I didn’t have so many requirements for my laptop. Those include now: gaming with a modern hybrid Intel-Nvidia GPU, on multiple monitors, and lightly programming in shell (I like to use small bash and Python scripts to automize some of the repetitive tasks I do daily), plus the extra usual browser-PDF-LibreOffice (which I need to be smooth) (and I do want to use Vivaldi).

I’m sorry my post is confused and not very clear, I had a long day but I wanted to ask… Thanks!