I'll give you my take on helmets.
Some people mistake the modular helmets as full face helmets. They really aren't. When they are down they give the same protection from flying road hazards (rocks, bugs, etc.) and wind, but if you ever have an accident and land on your face, the modular helmets do not protect your lower face. They break off. They even have this warning on the helmets themselves. I was tempted to get one since I live in Vegas and it would help at lights with the heat - but I decided I valued my face too much to have it added to the pavement if I was unfortunate enough to crash.
I have a Shoei RF-1000 helmet. I like it because it has good ventilation, it is light, and both DOT and snell approved. Easy to change the visor (from clear to smoke) and mid-price ranged. The things to balance out are weight (heavy=fatigue), vs ventilation (more ventilation = more noise, less noise=less ventilation) and price. For me it was a good choice because the ventilation is important given where I live.
As for the safety of the spyder, I think road conditions (oil, sand on the road, grooves in the road, etc.) are less of a problem, and because you can't lane split, you can't be tempted to lane split (I don't do that on the virago and think people are dumb to do it a lot of the time). One bad thing is because of the perceived safety of the spyder, I think a lot will be tempted to not wear the gear they should be wearing all of the time. The thing I try to remind people of is the gear you put on to get on the bike is the same gear you will have on when you fall off/thrown off the bike. A little discomfort (when hot, etc.) is worth the protection if the worst happens.
"Worry is the price you pay for troubles that may never come."