Yes, unfortunately this is not a simple mod on the Esprit (just like many other things), they made this much harder than it needed to be. I've replaced a dozen car stereos in my life but am actual scared to start this project on my own 1997 V8. The heating controls are welded to a frame, so first you need break those spot welds, move the heating controls to the desired location, and then spot weld it back into place. Also, the space taken up by a double-DIN head unit and heating controls does not take up the entire frame, so then you also need to fabricate some type of cover for the remaining opening. My plan is to take it to a professional installer (as recommended above) and have them do the labor. Also, for the cover that needs to be fabricated, I want them to integrate the three input ports for my headunit (2 USB and 1 HDMI) into this cover, so I don't have wires coming out of the dash or footwells.
Regarding what headunit to select, I've used the Pioneer AVH-NEX series in 2 vehicles so far (specifically the 4200NEX) and love them. Has Apple CarPlay and/or Android control, Pandora, HDMI input, backup camera input, satellite radio, Bluetooth, etc. Nice screen that's easy to see except in very direct sunlight (i.e. if sun is setting directly behind you). Have one car using it with an amp (GM Bose system with subwoofer) and one without an amp but headunit power is adequate to give decent sound. There is a newer version with wireless Apple CarPlay but I don't have experience with that model, and I don't mind the wired version because I want to charge the phone anyway as GPS and Pandora drains the battery quickly. Always purchased thru Crutchfield as their prices are usually better than the local big box stores.