I would just continue to do a standard NA setup, order bulk plants from one vendor (forum members are great for specialty, but sometimes the quality, /quantity can sometimes be questionable and not meet your expectations), skip the drystart and fill it day one, drystart really does nothing in the end, you want your plants to adjust as quickly as possible, forcing them from a submerged state to an emmersed and then back to submerged is just too many abrupt changes too early in the tanks life. The first month is the most important, the quicker the plants adapt the faster the system stabilizes. Those are facts, why do you think Wabi-Kusa tanks from Japan grow and look great so fast? Faster adaptation. Just follow ADA's guidelines and you will have a great tank, Aquajournal online is a great resource for information.
Yes and no.
DSM does in fact mineralize the soil, much like MTS users suggest you do before usage.
I've argued with the MTS converts about this fact, you can do water changes(lots) like ADA suggest for the 1st 1-2 months, or, do a DSM and then have most of the NH4 converted to NO3 and the bacterial already cycled. The roots are already in place also, so the plants do not have to adapt to the conditions, PLUS grow roots as well.
Plants appear to grow larger in submersed conditions, but they do not have the same dry weight biomass that emergent plants have, emergent growth is always more, I cannot think of any cases where this is not true unless the water runs out of something major during the DSM.
That said, I've been very successful using the DSM and the normal way.
I've found I can also leave enough water in the ADA soil for a 3-4 weeks to cover it and then do 2 back to back water changes around 90% and have no NH4 and do not need to do so many frequent water changes at the start up.
But like many, I scape the tank and want to set it up soon thereafter, that's the hardest part of the DSM. So both paths will lead to the same result, but one requires patience and less labor. So this is a human factor, not one based on methods.
DSM helps folks who do not have enough starting plant material and want to wait for it to grow in. But if you have an ADA 180, $ is not really an issue
But often times, people cannot source enough of certain species to fill the entire 6ft tank length in.
99% of the plants sold commercially are emergent grown BTW, so they do not bob back and forth.