My understanding is that a full extract boil not only increases hops utilizationo, but also prevents carmelization of the wort and gives better results. I had only done a couple of full boils with extract, but I do remember being pleased with the results.
You can always use DME for starters, like you mentioned, and also save some for your first few AGs. If your efficiency is bad, you could use DME to bring the OG up where it needs to be. Also, I would consider doing a PM and using extract along with a full boil for best results in an extract brew.