Hmm... while I've had many discussions on the TCH forums about secure file transfer (one of which I belive resulted in the .zip via secure CPanel suggestion), I've been using TCH for a number of years now, without any security problems that I've come across so far. Ironically, I work on a site that's hosted through a different provider that does allow for secure SSH/SFTP transfers, and it was recently hacked due to a message board vulnerability - strangely enough, I had similar boards on my account here, and none of them got hit. While I still think SFTP is the best way to go, I've been using CPanel and FTP here for quite some time, and haven't had any major security issues so far.
I would say that there is always some risk to FTP - but I'm not sure how severe the risk is unless you're being directly targeted. I would worry more about keyloggers or spyware on your computer, which SFTP does not protect against. And, for the record, I've been able to use the CPanel workaround with good success so far, without it causing too much inconvenience - and I use FTP for really large bulk uploads, and only as much as I absolutely have to.