I had to laugh when reading this article because it reads just like I would have written it myself! We have many, many similar plants and I have the same issues you do. This is very informative and your methods are the same I use. Two of my worst injuries pruning came from the razor sharp edges of the pony tail palm leaves and the tiny, almost invisible, airborne thorns from the bunny-ear type opuntia that land all over the skin when handling.
Thanks for all of the great info. By the way those rubber bristle gloves you use to move cactus are rubber wash gloves for livestock. They are used to clean cattle and sheep. They are available online for less than ten dollars if folks google cattle brushes, rubber curry combs or cattle grooming gloves. They can easily make the difference between having a good day and a very bad one!