Originally Posted by Soupy
A half decent e-kit is a lot more enjoyable to own and play than a muffled acoustic set, though.
This is exactly the point and the OP said it himself- A-kits with drum mutes on are just not fun to play so why bother with mesh heads or mutes?
As for your questions- Pearl mesh heads won't damage your drums but they are single-ply and therefore not very durable. They will be quieter than the mutes but the way they feel to you is somewhat subjective (some drummers feel they're too bouncy).