Just because I'm sure a newbie might wonder,
I personally use and love those metal cable needles. But I found the catch is to use one very similar in gauge to prevent the sts from shrinking too much.
I don't have much luck with cabling with out the needles... I knit fairly tight I guess.
And I don't like the dpn because I like the way the angle in the cable needles prevents me from too many needles in my face syndrome.