I freeski with the GS's because I get used to having the plant point behind my hand, and I like that for some reason. I only use the slaloms if I'm going in the trees or in crud, becuase my GS poles are swix ct1 carbons. Therefore, they don't play well with my edges in a fall, and I have broken two of them (warranty replaced). I have leki wc sl poles though, which are absolutely bombproof. I have fallen on them innumerable times while slalom training, and they refuse to bend. There is a lot of metal shaved off of them, as a result of them getting caught under the edge. The trigger system helps to prevent thumb injuries in a forward fall (if I screw around in the park, which is rare). The pole guards are useful in the trees, also.
As far as the "one of those racers" thing, I don't regard it as a bad thing. Why is there a stigma attached?