NFS is the way you want to go. It's not that hard to set up once you know how.
The Server would need an NFS server package installed. Then you decide which part(s) of the file system you want to share. You then add a line to /etc/exports and activate it by restarting nfs (the lazy way) or by using the exportfs command.
As an example, on my server I share /var/www/ so I can update my local web site from whichever PC I happen to be using at the time (you could use any directory in the file system). I want to be able to read and write this area from any user on any computer on my home network (192.168.1.0). The files on the server will be owned by user/group 33 (www-data) unless the user is root.
I set up this line in /etc/exports:
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Then I activate it with "exportfs -a".
On my Pi (and other computers) I add the following to /etc/fstab (the server is called "rincewind")
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rincewind:/var/www /var/www nfs defaults,retry=0 0 0
Make user the directory /var/www/ exists on the local machine, then "mount /var/www".
(Assume all above commands are run as root, using either sudo, or by su - root.
It has just been very frustrating because this is a simple clickity clack on Windows and you are done, but Linux seems to have 200 steps and 10 different applications necessary with lots of configuration which is rarely documented well.
Perhaps you are just familiar with the Windows way of doing it, so it seems second nature to you. I would be totally lost if I tried to do anything of the above on a Windows machine. As for 200 steps/10 applications - well, I've shown above that it doesn't need that. There may be 10 different applications that *could* do it, but you don't *need* them all.