I would recommend getting a plastic bucket for your primary, they come with a grommeted lid and you just need a bung and airlock. You can also use a plastic carboy but considering the bucket is cheaper, that would be my personal suggestion. That way if something goes wrong, it's cheaper to replace.
Siphoning is not messy at all. I've never spilled a beer siphoning. Actually the most beer I've spilled is the actual bottling. Just get an auto-siphon, they pump start and once they get going they don't stop. Also they keep the trub from hops, dead yeast, etc. in the bottom of your fermenter instead of your beer.
Homebrew is a touch messy. It's like any other form of cooking there's bound to be a little mess, just gotta clean it. Myself to adapt to bottling overflows/hose dripoff I bottle over my brew kettle, any beer that falls in there I use as my carbonation test with some of the more cruddy stuff at the bottom of the bottling bucket