I always pull tubes, wrap individually, and put them collectively in a zip lock bag. It just takes a minute and is worth it for my piece of mind. No need to ship separately just put them back in the head shell and you are good to go. Receiving an amp with a shattered tube is no fun for the new...
I don't use programmable switchers for the following reasons:
1- I don't use very many pedals
2- I want to cut anything unnecessary out of my signal chain (switches and additional cables)
3- I wouldn't want to take my buffered pedals out of the chain
4- They take up too much space on a board...
Not at all. I use a boost, phaser, delay/Reverb, flanger, and trem pedal live and most of the time even that is too much. I play in a country/classic rock band and this setup easily covers 3 hour long sets. Most of my heroes had very few effect pedals.