Agreed; I came to the same conclusion as you: that the Garmin Edge so-called "Cycling" GPSs aren't, in fact, ideal for the sort of cycling I do, which is not all-concerned with "fitness" and "performance". The one possible exception is the "Tour" model.
I think you'll find the Etrex 30 does everything you want of it. And, you can mount it to your bike as well, which would be another requirement.
The one thing I don't understand is why you want a unit with regular AA batteries. Will you, in fact, be using rechargeable batteries? I don't believe the Etrex series have built-in battery chargers, so how would you recharge them? Or would you buy alkaline batteries? Expensive, surely, at the rate you'd be going through them?
Some of the other Garmin "handheld" GPSs (Oregon, Montana) can take AA cells, but come with AA-type rechargeable battery packs which the device will recharge from a USB supply. So, out on tour, should you run out of power, you can insert alkaline AA batteries to keep you going and recharge your battery pack later, when you find a power source.