I missed this thread as the better place to post my side-by-side hot-glue vs. Velcro Whatnot photo...plus my thoughts on the TRU kit, which I just bought. Here's the photo; the rest is in the Whatnot thread in the Merchandise section.
www.onewaystreet.com (though I think they are now called creative ministry solutions) has some nice arm rods with wooden handles. You have to use rubber bands with them though (mine have been customized with black velcro wristbands that are sturdier).
Haven't used my Muppets much but puppeteering daily is kind of a job hazard for me. Two team practices a week and I've been doing a daily blog. Hand is cramping up lately though throwing off my lip sync but it helps keep my skills up. I haven't quite got a handle on my what nots' personalities either. Not feeling the voicse on them yet. Great for playing with the kids at home (and the wife keeps sayin " do you really need another puppet?")