Not that I am advocating one type over another, as I have been using aluminum rods and patch eyes and bronze brushes for a long time, but I hear good things about Otis kits. The idea of a flexible rod is really appealing for my semi autos. I really don't like going in from the muzzle end.
Tee shirts, handkerchiefs, paper towels, newspapers, I've used em all. Anything that is soft enough to conform to the bore and tight enough to get into the rifling works. TP might be too soft, but I've cut strips out of my tee shirt and used a trimmed willow switch to shove it down the bore out in the field before. It works.