That's too bad you broke it! I use the nickel plated so no experience, but I've actually heard that the acrylic needles do break occasionally.
Hints for using interchanges (or lessons learned) -
Don't yank the needles through the knitting to move stitches. Pinch the cable itself and slide the stitches. There's less chance you'll pull the cable from the join that way.
Use the key and a square of grippy shelf liner to tighten the needles and they don't come unscrewed. Also when tightening hold the metal parts not the cable itself.
Since I do these things now I've never had a needle come unscrewed or had a cable pull out from the join. I love my Options!