A promissory note can affect your balance
Does Using Ripple to Accept Bitcoin Reduce the Risk of Bitcoin Fraud?
With Bitcoin, there are several ways to mitigate the risks and issues you mentioned, to allow the use of payments without confirmation, rather than waiting for sufficient confirmations to make sure the payment is irreversible.
With Ripple, a transaction that has been validated once is irreversible. Ripple transactions are usually validated within seconds (5 to 20 seconds, depending on various factors). Therefore, such a reduction is not required and duplication and associated problems are not a problem.
Within Ripple for a currency other than the native XRP, the balance / asset that is irreversibly transferred is a balance with another party. Until you redeem this balance (or spend / trade it within Ripple) you have counterparty risks that Bitcoin doesn't have (at least bitcoin in the wallet / address that you directly control). Although the risks are explicitly limited by "lines of trust" that you have set up in Ripple (e.g. you can trust Bitstamp for 10 BTC and DividendRippler for 2 BTC) and do not require trust in the payment sender.
This risk is analogous to receiving PayPal or BitPay payments. Until they send your money to your bank (and possibly afterwards, depending on your bank), you are counting on them to make up their balance for you. Analogous to using a hosted bitcoin wallet or other intermediary service where you rely on this party to hold your money temporarily.
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