"Tried bottom pour years ago, abandoned it for dipping...hated the frequent malfunctions of the valve."
About three times a year I empty my bottom pour pot, scrape and clean it. The amount of gunk that comes out of the pot, despite frequent fluxing and stirring, is amazing. I take the rod off (the one that opens the pour hole) and clean it with steel wool. Amazing how this little bit of maintenance keeps this thing pouring nicely.
I started casting on the kitchen stove with a ladle. Was already set in my ways when I tried bottom pour. Never got used to it. With all the practice I have had, I think that I am faster using a ladle than I could ever become with the bottom pours.