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I pretty much concur with Bluefishmaster's points.

If you're going to be really casting the lure or bait way out there, then go for a non-levelwind...hey, ou'll have to learn sometime and there's no time like the present;)

As to a levelwind and shock leader...well I use braided line on my Penn 965 and have a mono leader attached to the braid using a Alberto knot. The mono leader is usually 30-40lb test and approximately 7-8ft long. I mainly use it while bottom fishing but can still cast with it with no problem. It has yet to hang up or get stuck in the levelwind mechanism.
 
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