I have been playing out a lot lately with a new band I started this year and have become addicted to plugging in. For many many years I used a clip on condensor mic by Ramsa and had a real love/hate relationship with it. Several months ago I sold a piece of glass and in a moment of weakness decided to invest in a new banjo pickup while the cash was still in hand (a very very rare occurance since I am putting 2 kids through college and just paid for a wedding this May). I found one of these EMG pickups used at basically half price and bought it with high hopes. I have to say it is everything I hoped for and more. The thing is silent when the banjo isn't being played, the volume knob is awesome, the tone I get from it is perfect and I don't need an additional amp to use it. I am beyond happy. The only drawback is 2 coordinator rods are needed to install it (totally non-invasive install too which is great), which means I can't use it on my B&D tenor or my Nechville, but for the Stelling and the Recording King, the thing is amazing.
Plugging in is the way to go I think. So much easier, awesome sound, I can move around. I love it. If I had the cash I would try something on the other banjos too but for now, this EMG is really really awesome.