I have long been a fan of hydraulic backstay adjusters, and, on bigger boats, hydraulic vangs, but they do have one vulnerability: a ding in the exposed rod will eventually damage the top seal and start a leak.
Sometimes a small ding can be polished out with very fine emory paper, but bigger ones can, as I understand it, make replacing the whole plunger assembly the only option.
The interesting thing is I have never had any of the three rams on our last boat dinged while sailing. Just seems like we don’t do stuff around that area that will cause this problem.
But I once had one dinged while the mast was being un-stepped, so for the last 20 years I have always covered the rod prior to unstepping and storage and before re-stepping. Our favourite chafe gear works a treat for this. No more dings.