At my store we keep the pea puffers and the falkula puffer in the planted sales tanks to keep the snail population down. They leave the plants alone and there are no snails in the tanks. I am not so sure I like the falkula puffer in the tank when I need to get plants or just to work on the tank, he gets hungry and starts stalking my hands. Don't know if I am spelling falkula right.
I have some pea puffers, and they don't eat any of the plants and they have left my shrimp alone. They don't bother any bottom dwelling fish or my oto cats either. They constantly attacked my tetras, but my gourami keeps them in line. They only get about 3/4" and are good for controlling snails. Although, they don't bother my sand-dwelling torpedo snails.
I've only had trouble with pea puffers that were mature at the time of purchase. IME juvenile pea puffers that are raised with other species of fish will never nip them 100% of the time but dwarf shrimp species and snails won't last very long lol
To me puffers have the most personality of all the fishes, i would sacrifice keeping other species for them i think. Plus this is a college fish tank, i cannot stand when people are over at my place and keep asking me why i grow 'grass' and not fish haha. The puffers will keep them from asking