I should also point out that the idea that Meteor components aren’t available as standalone pieces is actually wrong.
Using Meteor is akin to using JQuery: you could choose to use it for a single part of your app, or all of it, but there’s no requirement here.
That said, also stated is, “have you ever heard of Spacebars, etc?”. Actually, yes, because as Meteor states in their site, it’s effectively a modified version of Handlebars. Want to use it on its own? You can, or just go ahead and mod Handlebars yourself.