Link shows up correctly in edit preview but not in question
I posted the text below on our askbot server (answers.ros.org), and the first link gets shown correctly, but the second one does not. In the edit preview below the text box, both links look correct though.
I think your assessment is correct, Smach assumes the role of the main loop itself, and is kind of awkward to use asynchronously. The Smach roadmap has some pointers to initial experiments with asynchronous Smach. There is even a https://code.ros.org/svn/ros-pkg/stacks/linux_networking/trunk">repository containing an implementation and example usage of asynchronous Smach.