Yeah, I use the JP by Korsteel bits too. They are nice quality and inexpensive. As for the cheeks, I have the loose ring, D-ring, and eggbutt. Again, it's personal preference (what your horse goes in best) that matters. I find the D-ring and eggbutt are pretty equivalent (I just use D-ring for hunter & eggbutt for Dressage). My horse wasn't as responsive in a loose ring plus I was afraid I would pull it through his mouth if I needed to do an emergency 1-rein stop or something. However, some horses do BETTER in a loose ring because they get that momentary warning before the cue (when the ring slides to adjust to a change in contact).
I too agree that the plastic/rubber covered bits are not all that glamorous. They get chewed, plus they always seem to be kind of bulky (the inside of your horse's mouth isn't all that big).