This is based on my own personal experience with using the prong and NoseWorks Classes and trials. It has been amazing! I have never felt shunned or been given looks. The organization allows and welcome reactive dogs as long as they aren't aggressive or dangerous and there are rules and procedures to ensure that the dog has space.
Get the balanced training that your gut is telling you. If your dog is reactive, get the level of obedience high and then go and look for an NW trainer. NW allows prongs to be worn up until you are waiting to enter the search area. Just before you enter, you have to take it off and clip the leash to a flat collar or harness.
My NW class trainer allows me to enter the classroom with the leash clipped to the prong and I just clip the leash to his flat collar as he gets in his crate. My instructor and classmates are very nice and mindful of my boys need for space.
I also took agilities on a private basis (the building was empty except for us). That Instructor was also understanding. Same rule, prong came off once in the building.
I did the agilities for approx 3 months during a time when I was still struggling with his reactivity. About the time that I stopped the agilities, my obedience trainer started a class for dogs who needed obedience under distractions. I.e. Dogs with reactivity or other issues. By the time that class ended, we were ready to try NW. We are training for NW2 and hope to go to trial soon. It fits us both like a soft leather glove. Lol
One thing I was very conscious of was that when out and about daily, that is when I got the "looks" but it just rolls off my back. I put a ton of effort in us so that we both were well behaved so that we rarely give anyone a reason to shun us other than that he has a prong on.
It took a long time for me to get us to be where we're could do a sport. If you need the prong and a different trainer that will get you to where you want to be, once you get there, you'll be ignoring any "looks" that you get also. As a matter of fact, you'll probably be rolling your eyes as your pup walks quietly beside you and their dog is making a ruckus.
I think one of the best things that can promote a better public attitude for prong use is just getting out and about. People do notice a well behaved dog first and foremost. They also notice how the dog interacts with its owner how well he looks, how happily attentive he is towards you. You will get all of this with that trainer.
Sorry for the long wind but got caught up in it.
Go for what you want and best of luck!
"If you can't see his soul when you look in his eyes, then you need a seeing-eye dog"