If you look closely in some of the pics in "old schools" in the general area, you can see the old fixtures during demo all bent up and hangin from the ceilings, of course without the bulbs and ballasts though (for enviormental safety reasons for those of you that didd'nt know)
I know what you mean. The old ballasts contained PCB's which are dangerous. Whenever I acquire any I like to remove the old ballasts and wire in a new one unless the existing one has a label on it saying "No PCB's." Magnetic T12 ballasts have the same flickering thing we all love when the bulbs are about to burn out although those are getting harder to acquire since the government is pushing electronic T8 ballasts. This is rather annoying but I understand why they are doing it. Efficiency reasons.