Personal I would go for a ceramic on a pulse stat, it give a better ambient tempature,
Digital thermometers are quite know for giving out readings that can be a degree or two out, I got two exo Terra and put the probes in the same place they were both a different reading, I still use digital along with a lazer "gun" thermometer.
Mats can burn and cause thermal blocking in heavy bodie snakes yes, if you use a mat silicone the probe to the mat and burry it under the substrate, always with mats have the probe attached to the mat. I perfer to not use a mat in a wooden viv.
That's my personal thoughts, I know many people use mats in viv without any problems