Most reliable library for Arduinos and ESP8266

I have several different Arduinos (UNO, Mega, etc) that I want to use with ESP8266 modules. I prefer to use SoftwareSerial.

These Arduino devices will communicate via WiFi to a Raspberry Pi 2 running MQTT. I really don’t want to program the ESP8266 modules. I prefer they have default firmware, no sketch, and be controlled from the Arduino sketch.

All of the ESP8266 libraries I’ve looked at are expecting me to run older versions of the ESP firmware. I don’t want to go backwards and be stuck there by using a library that isn’t being updated.

I’ve also found those libraries to be unreliable/inconsistent.

Has anyone found a library for the ESP8266 that works well with SoftwareSerial and MQTT, and has a good support forum? is the better place to be asking your question