I've been doing direct pitching for a while and haven't noticed any issues. That being said I am usually doing a 2X to 3X over pitch.I was told directly by a Lallemond rep that you don't need to hydrate their yeasts. He said that just introduces the opportunity for something to go wrong. That's why I went to direct pitching from the packet. I have not had a problem with my yeast taking off.
When I've rehydrated with GoFerm the airlock sometimes starts bubbling earlier.
For this one I did a direct pitch of an entire packet of US-05 for a one gallon batch. Everything I read said to do a significant over pitch for a big beer.