"......Lastly, in terms of the "classic car feel", I don't know of any mustangs having had EFI back in the day, I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but the Corvette and other vehicles have had EFI since the 1950's and even before.
Some of the Corvette's did have a fuel injection option. But it was a mechanical fuel injection, not EFI.
"........I will gladly admit that I suck at tuning carbs. :-)....."
I sucked at walking when I was 1 year old. But I kept working at it.
Tuning a carburetor is no different than any other kind of learning. It's not black magic, even on the Webers. They are pretty complicated, but still follow the same physics that a Autolite 2100 does. The knowledge gained on the most simple carburetor is directly transferrable to the most complex carburetor
".......Let's also not forget, for the purists, this this is not an irreversible mod. ......"
I don't keep my vintage cars "period correct" for the next owner. I do it because I get the most enjoyment from them when the total owning and driving experience is identical to what I enjoyed when cars were new.
".......The garage will stink for maybe 5 days until the fuel bowl dries up, and then no more stink..."
"........let me ask you, how long does it take your fuel bowl to dry up? I mean, eventually it should- right? ......"
there's a big difference between the float bowl drying up in 5 days, and it drying up eventually. Yes they will dry up eventually, and when they do, it will look like these carbs pictured below. They were from a Yamaha XS-1100. The owner had to go on a forced vacation at a Federal lock-up for 3-5 years with time off for good behavior. When he got back to the shed where he parked his bike, it wouldn't start, so he brought it to our shop.
(....Notice that two of the carbs are clean. That's because the bike was leaned at a steep angle (toward the right side) up against the interior wall of a storage shed. All the gas drained out of the 2 left hand carbs into the other two before it could dry out. Photos show the carburetor assembly flipped over and upside down, so the right-most carb in the photo is actually the left-most carb....)
If your float bowls in a stock Autolite are drying out without leaving a nasty residue, then they are drying out too soon. There is a reason, and it can be fixed, either by repair or replacement with a good carburetor. I don't know what was the fault in your carb, but it did have one (or more) that was causing the rapid evaporation and garage smell. Fixing the fault seems to me to be easier than ditching the carb in favor of EFI.
I drove my parents Fairlane in high school (Sr. '69), and I'm pretty sure it had an Autolite 2100 on it. No stinky garage.