I personally switched over to the long hose with bungeed octo setup when I had less than 30 dives so I don't think that inexperience should prevent you from switching over to a DIR setup. The DIR setup offers benefits such as having space between divers while sharing gas and better streamlining and is now my preferred open water configuration.
That said, I would advise looking for someone who already dives such a config to help you through the transition because you should ideally have the full picture of why some things are done a certain way vs another way, then it will be up to you to decide whether the DIR way makes sense to you or not. Some options for doing that would be to contact a GUE instructor (http://gue.com/gue-instructors
) since teaching the DIR system is somewhat of a specialty of the organisation. A DIY alternative would be to pick up a copy of the following book (http://gue.com/store/books/doing-it-right-fundamentals-better-diving-pdf
), which is really a helpful resource for getting started with DIR. If you are really cheapskate, PM me and I'll try to be as helpful as I can
With regards to confusing dive buddies with your weird setup, the two uniform length hoses setup that I think you are referring to is by far not as 'standard" as you might believe. A potential issue like this should be resolved with a short pre-dive discussion if your buddy has never seen a DIR setup before.
On your end, you need to get used to the difference between a secondary take air share drill vs. a primary donate drill. Some instructors teach their students the secondary take method, where the buddy reaches for the secondary regulator themselves, but the DIR setup is geared towards the donor actively donating the primary regulator. It definitely helps to develop situational awareness so that you can anticipate and have the opportunity hand off the reg rather than have a frantic buddy yank it straight out of your mouth. Even so, you always know exactly where your backup is, right under your chin.
With regards to free-flow issue of the alternate, I fail to see how changing the hose configuration makes your alternate any more or less likely to free-flow. If you are referring specifically to recommendations which have been made previously for using an unbalanced alternate, I dive balanced Scubapro S600s for both primary and alternate and never had free-flow issues so I wouldn't worry about that unless you plan to dive much colder waters. The venturi valve as you pointed out is helpful for detuning your reg on the fly and I do that with my alternate S600 as well.