I wouldn't worry about pumps seizing. It's rare, and it they do a rap with a hammer wakes them up.
Every plumber has his prefered method and your question has been asked 1,000 times and talked about since the invention of zone valves. Obviously before zone valves got perfected a seperate pump for each zone was the only way. When zone valves first came out the idea was to not only save money on parts, but to save money on electricity. There were lot's of problems though and many plumbers decided "I'll never install another one of those stupid things". But, time marches forward and zone valves are very dependable. They're NOT cheaper than a pump A 007 is about $75 and most zone valves are $85 or more. A zone valve doesn't need a flow check though so you save some there. It does take less labor to install a zone valve, but not much. Most systems could have either, but sometimes you get long runs, radaitors, infloor radiant, and one pump just won't do the job. My house has three pumps and five zone valves. A bit over board for a ranch, but we have good control!