Been both a buyer and seller on ebay for some time with little or no worries. Communication is the key.
Regarding the use of reserves - I hate them too and often wondered why the vendor did not use their lowest acceptable price as their start point.HOWEVER, without checking my Ebay rules I think that the higher your starting price for an item the more you pay in fees. So it could be cheaper to start off low and pay for a reserve price insertion than simply inserting your minimum bid expectation.
As mentioned above a low price will always attract people to look at your auction then who knows..............