I have been using Bare Minerals for the last 2.5 years and wouldn't use anything else. I know that it's expensive but it does last a long time, 9gr size usually lasts me wellpast a year.
As to primer, I think it's indispensible! up 'til now, I've been using Models Prefer until it changed to "ybf",changed the packaging and now is unusable due to said packaging.The product is still as good but the packaging breaks easily. As a second choice I am going for the Smashbox Primer (not the one with demaxyl) as it has a lot of good reviews on the QVC website!
I also buy from Qvc as it gives a splendid 30 day money back guarantee which can't be faulted. Try having a look at the QVC USA website and I'm sure your questions will be answered.
ahope this helps.
Good luck, Gav x