Warning: tangent ahead
That said, there are inevitably a heap of cases like this and if you reach for a purely non-Matrix solution every time you end up with a bit of an undelineated soup of pitfalls for future-you.
This “Turn a select field into buttons” feature lends itself to a CCT fairly nicely - drop the SelectToButtons CCT into the form’s custom bodycopy, choose the select field you want, and choose a css class you want to use on the buttons.
Testing it with the form in the bootstrap template on Marketplace (https://marketplace.squiz.net/templates/starter-website-template) ends up looking like.
I’ve attached this sample CCT to demonstrate the concept. It seems to work but usual disclaimers caveats that apply to quick’n’dirty solutions.
SelectToButtons-export.xml (15.1 KB)