Going back to stock will eliminate the worry of potential clutch headaches, as long as you put it together properly. The VW clutch is just making something cheap work. The ceramic clutch is necessary only if you plan on really dragging / beating on the clutch. A stock clutch, driven properly, will last a long long time.
Looks like the rod and bearing definitely need replaced.
And, if Anton (above) says something- he is correct. He's the clutch / tranny specialist around BMW oilheads.