User "categories" ie shop/teacher/manufacturer etc

I was wondering if perhaps the membership plugin might do this but it seems that's more to do with "roles" than a searchable public display of category.

I also considered the Directory plugin but I'm wondering what the advantages might be of having entries under a separate custom post type...

I think a good solution would be to let my users sign up as a different "category" of user and allow people to search the member list by category as if it were a directory. ie where the user's profile IS their directory listing.

Each user category would have varying BuddyPress extended profile fields and customisation options.

Can it be done?

I found this plugin, but it worries me as it's so small and new. If I build this functionality around the plugin then I'm buggered if he ever stops developing it.

Another option I'm considering would be the more established (and free) BP Profile search + a simple tickbox for account type which is then searchable. The trouble with this though is that it I wouldn't be able to offer the category specific extended profile fields per profile type.

What do you reckon my options are WPMUdev ninjas?