The choice is between a "traditional" server-side rendering setup or and API server with client-side rendering. I'm aware of full-stack frameworks like Meteor, but that is complete overkill, at least for my current project. I'm looking for something that feels lightweight and has decent support. I've tried to keep up with Node, but nearly all of my recent professional experience is with Ruby on Rails. If I missed something worth considering, please let me know.
API Server With Client-Side Rendering
hapi would very likely be the api server.
- angular 2
- polymer - distributed via bower which is a non-starter at this point in time
- basic auth (requires HTTPS, though really everything else does too)
Postgres is the database of choice.