They are not more toxic than BW. One could claim they are less toxic because of hydroquinone in many BW paper developers. I like the fresh, fruity odor in Kodak RA-4 developer :rolleyes:.
I don't recommend drums as I find traditional tray processing - just like BW - easier, but this is up to you.
Just give it a try! It's easy and fun.
Look at the another thread that's going on for recommendations on chemicals. Kodak RA-RT replenisher and RT-LU replenisher seems to work perfectly at room temp, without a starter.