I would suggest going with the standard bare root stock. It will take a little longer for the tree to bear fruit, but it will yeild much higher amounts and the tree will grow larger to help combat the bear damage you are worried about. I have had great success with the standard sized trees.
Protection from animals is always a concern...especially when first getting started. I don't have any experience with bears, but keeping the deer from damaging them is very easy...just cut approx. 10' long piece of wire fencing that is 48" high and secure in a circle (just wrap the wire ends around that are left from cutting this piece from a roll). Place around the tree and anchor with 4' high metal fence posts (i usually only use 1, but 2 or 3 might help with your bear problem). This will definately keep the deer at bay from browsing and rubbing.
I have found that securing the fence to the posts with zip-ties will save you time later. If you are able to mulch around the trees, this will keep the weeds down, but eventually you will probably find the need to access inside this small enclosure to pull some weeds or prune the tree itself. Zip-ties can be easily cut and then you can remove the entire piece of fence.
One final piece of advice...visit www.arborday.org
(no this isn't a plug, i have no affiliation with them, i simply used them in the past year with great success) After doing price comparisons at a number of places, i found them to be the least expensive.
You will find very reasonable prices for non-members, and a small membership fee will get you a fairly large price break which will help tremendously on an order of 40 trees. Free shipping for that many trees too.