I have ziptech and it is amazing, especially for those early days when you fall all over the place. It's not essential (everyone else I know alternates tucking in their layers and/or just deals with getting snow up their back occasionally) but if you're buying from scratch anyway, it is really, really nice to have. Sometimes I forget to zip up and notice the first time I fall.
Personally I would stay away from white because it stains easier. It's less of a factor for jackets I guess, but I have orange pants and they already have black stains on the knees. I'm hoping they come out when I wash my gear at the end of the season, but it's something to consider if that sort of thing bugs you.