MultiSite and Category Base Questions

I am setting up a network of sites and see that at least for the main site that the

/blog is hardcoded into the Category base name

I've seen some workarounds posted ie:

but these either don't appear to work for multisite or some solutions require that one append a

/%category%/%postname%.html (Which I can't use) I have to use

/%category%/%postname% as my permalinks setting for the main site

So my questions are:

1) Is there a workaround that will work on the main site of a multiuser install to remove the hardcoded
/blog from the urls that won't break subcategories?

2) I guess as a workaround I can setup a placeholder domain as the main domain, but aren't there certain features within multisite (maybe something with bbpress) or others that will only work on the main domain?

I recall I've read some posts over the past week or so that mentioned there are some functions/features that can only be used on the main domain thus, wondering how others handle a problem where you don't want the /blog in the main domain's url structure.

Many thanks