I switched to Podcast Addict right after I made the post above yours and haven't looked back (except when I got the notification of your reply to the post!).

PA is great and I've been able to get 90% of the way to BP's SmartPlay using priorities and the "play from the top" playlist option, so higher priority stuff plays next. I'm probably an edge case that I have some shows that I like to listen to the oldest one then move onto something else before going back to that show. PA can't exactly do that but it's close enough that in the nearly month since I've switched I've only had to manually override what played next a handful of times. That's ok for me.

The UI is quite cluttered out of the box but spend some time going through all the options, turn off the stuff you don't want, and I think you'll be pretty happy.

It seems to be written by a single person and has already gotten 2 updates since I switched. Widget works, SSL episodes work, no random pauses, currently playing episode always resumes in AA when you return to your car, and it even has silence skipping which has allowed me to slow down my default playback speed a bit but still get through shows faster. The only thing missing is device syncing but I only use one device so no issue for me.

I feel a little bit bad talking about an alternative app on BP's forum but it seems obvious to me at this point that they do not intend to fix their issues.