I need some Injinjis, but only one place has some local and they only have one type...in limited supply -__- I use tea tree oil on my feet, and foot powder in the shoes to cut down on the smell. Still wash regularly though.
As for your podiatrist...I don't see why it would make a difference. The NB Minimus and other shoes like that aren't really any different, they just offer a little more cushion (which may or may not be better for easing into the trend)... but the VFFs offer more ground-feel, which allows your feet to adapt to the terrain they feel underneath them... better. EDIT: Re-read that, and there is no particular reason to recommend those "brands" as anything better. It's all about picking a shoe that works with your biomechanics, and most brands offer neutral and stable shoes for different people. I get people to try a "foam" cushion shoe like NB, Saucony, Nike, etc...Mizuno, due to the "wave plate", and Aesics, for the gel cushion. Once they pick one, we go for the cushion/weight tradeoff they like.
On a side note, I'm waiting for my own pair of Minimus to come in because I get them cheaper than my employee discount through our Employee Purchase Plan (it's basically free advertising if we wear their shoes while working). It's a bonus because while my girlfriend has tolerated my VFFs when going to malls and stuff, they are still not any better than "kind of cool" lol. Easier on her :P