If you want a newer diesel there's no option as the late 4andsubsequent ones all have complicated EGR systems that do fail now and then.
A failure will likely raise an EML but shouldn't cause limp mode or serious running issues.
Modern cars have a great deal of ancillary equipment and are tightly packaged which means that for some jobs a great deal of dismantling and reinstatement is needed to carry out the work and with labour costs as they are this means expense. This is one such job, another is the cambelt/tensioner/water-pump.
If is however not a particularly difficult job and any reasonably competent mechanic would have no difficulty undertaking it. As a DIY job you might also consider using second hand parts as the units are quit reliable, reasonably common and relatively inexpensive.
As flapperjack 76 indicated it might be worth approaching a main dealer about a "goodwill" contribution or even a free repair. Vw are often not as bad as is sometimes said, particularly with newer models. From personal experience however (with myMk5 ABS unit failure) there is a bit of a sting in a "Catch 22" scenario as VW insist on the dealer carrying out a full dealer diagnostic before they will consider goodwill and at dealer prices this is often £100 or so.
They will not accept third party diagnostics and often will not cover any or all of the costnand once this is factored in it might be worth considering a good independent VW Specialist with lower diagnostic and labour charges