A lot of this will come down to what you actually need and personal choice.
It is possible to tunnel lots of traffic through SSH and treat it like a VPN.
There are also many similarities between the two for example depending on the VPN selection you you choose you may also be using SSL/TLS for the VPN, which is what SSH uses, or even the same ciphers, algorithms, or encryption libraries. So although there are some differences for encryption options the encryption options are very similar.
The areas where they start to be different involve whether or not you need Layer 2 traffic (such as Ethernet Frames) vs. just having IP traffic (what most people need). Or if you want to permanently forward multiple protocols or users through the same connection in which case the VPN may be easier.
One disadvantage to some VPN's, not all, is that if you are connecting to them from remote locations you may find that certain protocols, such as IPSEC, may be blocked by some providers.
In general I find that if you are just making single connections SSH will be far easier to manage whether you are doing this manually or via scripts.
If you have a more complex network with lots of unencrypted protocols you may opt to go the VPN route.
Both are good solutions and if anything I'd suggest to try both of them for a while to see which one best fits your needs.
Personally I tend to lean towards SSH as my go to tool because it's extremely flexible but I do occasionally recommend VPN's for larger site-to-site connections or for clients that are 100% Windows shops.
In high security environments I use both and run all the SSH connections through a VPN. You may want to try this as well.
Ultimately due to the flexibility of SSH the two are very similar and a lot of the decision will come down to your personal preference and needs.