I think a lot of folks are confused on exactly what Rapid Rise is (not saying you are, just see this thread topic a lot).
Regular/standard = Top Normal. Spring tension pulls derailleur to smaller cog, cable tension pulls to bigger cog. Most folks use these with RapidFire shift pods. Releasing cable shifts to a harder gear (smaller cog). If your shift cable breaks, you are stuck in your smallest cog (unless you brought a multitool and adjust the high limit screw in to get a cog or two in).
Rapid Rise = Low Normal. Spring tension pulls derailleur to larger cog, cable tension pulls to smaller cog. Most people use Dual Control levers with these derailleurs. Releasing cable shifts to an easier gear, and if your shift cable breaks you are stuck in your easiest gear.
There is no incompatibility between these styles. Just different ergonomics and such with the shifters. Note that most shifters have the ability to pull several shifts' worth of cable in one stroke, but only release one (two with 970 or modded 770). Top normal then gives you the ability to dump 3-4 gears at the bottom of a climb, and low normal/RR lets you grab 3-4 gears, say, going into a sprint. I've personally found fast multiple downshifts more useful.