"Home base" for most lifters can and should be the trap-bar deadlift. There, I said it. Come at me, internet trolls.
Due to improved mechanics with regards to the center of mass (you're inside the barbell) and axis of rotation (hips closer), the trap-bar deadlift is a safer, more user-friendly variation.
Unless you're a competitive powerlifter or weightlifter, you don't HAVE to use a straight bar. It's not cheating. Traditionalists can go f*ck themselves.