I have seen older answers that I can have a calculated field for the lookup but that seems silly and redundant. I have 3 choice fields I would have to do that for for 100s of records. Is that really my only option? I would have thought this feature would be available?
I assume you want to use the lookup column to link to a list with a few hundred records. For such situation, a common option is to use the JS link and make users be able to search for the record they want. Here are examples you can have a check: