FM (operator count aside) paired with samplers & effects can be very tasty. It often feels less redundant than an analog subtractive synth, since most samplers have the ability to do subtractive synthesis anyway.
I echo the thoughts above that FM can be done just as well in software, but if you really want a hardware box, you could do a lot worse than a volca FM. It’s nice because it runs on batteries so if you want to just play with it on the couch (or bus) and make patches or loops, you can do that, and then you can bring it back to your sampler. Which can be really nice if you don’t find your studio to be the most inspiring place all the time. The Reface DX seems to tick all these boxes as well, plus it gives you a keyboard, minus it’s not as portable and doesn’t load DX7 patches. I haven’t actually played with one, though.
I used to like making lots of one-shots and dropping them into my sampler. These days I almost always start with a loop or phrase - there’s more to play with, it gives the sound more context, and you can usually extract one-shots from it anyway.