Don't worry about carrying poles. If you decide you don't want to carry poles, then buy a pole (or two) from TarpTent. Those poles are light and strong. The design of a tent like this puts a lot less stress on poles. As a result, the pole is a lot less likely to fail (which means that while the tent may, depending on design, take a lot of wind, your pole is unlikely to fail). If you do decide to use a trekking pole, than you can be confident that your pole is much stronger than just about any pole designed to hold up a tent. After all, when is the last time you put all of your weight on your tent's poles?
As I see it, a tent can fail in three ways: fabric, poles and pegs. The fabric is tough and time tested, so I don't see that failing in the Contrail. As I mentioned, if you happen to use trekking poles, then they are unlikely to fail (even carbon fiber poles are unlikely to fail, although I could see them failing in extreme conditions). The most likely failure is a failure of a peg (stake). If you don't get the stake in deep enough, then the stresses could pull one of them out, and the tent could fall over. Of course, even a free standing tent depends on stakes, but the only difference is that a lose peg or two won't hurt things.
Every tent design has its pluses and minuses. The Contrail design is a solid, time tested design. Furthermore, it has undergone numerous tweaks that make it better than ever. I personally like the fact that it is high on one end (where your head will be) since that makes it feel much more roomy than many tents. It also cuts down on condensation. To a certain extent, that is a personal preference. Some people like the apex in the middle (so they can sit up without scooting). Other tents have side entry, which tends to be a bit easier to get into. Unless you are looking at Cuben tents, I don't think you can get much lighter for that much room. Overall, I think the Contrail is an excellent value.