To answer #2: yes, you can use a regular airlock.
I bought two non-ported versions and like them enough to sell all my glass carboys on Craigslist and replace them with Better Bottles. Once you start get used to not lifting heavy (and sometimes slippery) glass carboys, you won't look back.
As far as the airlock sucking in, this can be avoided by lifting the BB from the bottom or putting it in a crate. It's really not that big of a deal for me.