I would make sure to try that finish technique on a piece of scrap first so you know you got it right and it comes out like you expect. Of course, for me, I usually figure out pretty quickly how to do it right on the scrap piece, then figure out all the ways to mess it up on my project piece.
As far as the cup sprayers go, Wagner (and possibly some other companies) makes sprayers that you can just plug into the wall for around the same price as the ones you hook up to a compressor (more or less depending on brand). Then you don't have to worry about the filters and flow rate on your compressor. I don't know how they compare to the ones you hook up to the compressor. But, from what I have read about the compressor ones, it sounds to me like the one I have performs similarly. They do have some advantages and disadvantages, such as:
1- no brush strokes
2-finishing can be faster
3- cleanup can be slower
4-have to thin the finish to the appropriate consistency for spraying
5-as mentioned earlier, one sprayer does not do all finishes
6-you use more finish, because of overspray and the spray bouncing off the surface (some sprayers are worse than others and some finishes are worse than others)
7-you have to protect the surrounding area better than with a brush.