How beautiful that you have been given the grace to search...
I am not in the US so my perspective is a bit different. I just find it hard to belive that anyone would choose a church due to "smaller parish size, priest knows everyone, etc". Maybe I am misunderstanding, so please forgive me if it is so. I mean isn't the question here what is truth.
I have never been to an Orthodox church in the US but there are more Orthodox than Catholics where I live. I am very surprised to hear the idea that the "difficult" teachings are not found in Orthodoxy. Other than remarriage, what difference is there in questions of moral? (None, as far as I know.) Could it be that the Orthodox churches in the US have become something different and no longer really teach the Orthodox faith? Certainly, as far as I understand, the Orthodox churches do not teach any less than the Catholic Church that sexual acts outside of marriage (whether hetero or homosexual) are sinful. They may be quieter about it but certainly the teaching is still there.
As far as hard teachings, the only day to day one that comes to my mind besides divorce is contraception, which isn't categorically quashed to the same extent. However, if people are thinking more theoretically, there are a number of issues not found in Orthodoxy that Catholics are compelled to believe.