Yeah, that's what mine is in.
They're so much better than those wire cages.
BUT - the downsides:
The bedding must be cleaned religiously, since the hamster will be directly in contact with it. The urine can cause burns to the feet.
And these tanks can warm up VERY quickly, so it cannot go anywhere near the sun or window.
If you can aford it, those plastice modules are great. The ones made by super pet are pretty big. Thats what I used. I also used one of those carriers sold for reptiles. All you have to do is cut out the plastice circle in the lid, then put the tube throught the hole. It started as a sand box, but my hamster turned it into a litter box. As for out of the cage time, aside from the ball, you can also get a playpen.
Since Betta_dude mentioned the litterbox idea, I figured I'd add that they're pretty easy to potty train. They'll naturally pick a corner to go to the bathroom in, over and over. Once they've done that, place an accessable and size-appropriate container in that spot with a little bit of pee-shavings inside. (You can line it with paper towels. The shavings will also work, but lining it with something different helps them differentiate "pee spot" as they become accustomed to it.) Keep it clean. This will not eliminate the need for regular tank cleanings, but it can reduce their frequency a little bit. Be aware that hamsters are coprophages, so they will rarely poo in their litterbox. In fact, you'll find a lot of their poo stored in their nesting spot to be nibbled on later. (Gross, eh?)
If anyone's interested, I've also used this potty training with some success on my leopard geckos.
i've always like aquariums for hamsters...keeps the litter in. Disadv is they don't get the air circulation like wire cages so you need to keep them clean. Shouldnt use cedar wood shaving because the oils in the wood are to strong and cause respiratory problems for little critters. I prefer the bedding made out of paper...it has a better odor control.
Use paper bedding, avoid any cage that doesn't provide circulation. Cages might look cruel but they allow air flow and some exercise (hamsters are energy machines). Our mother hamster climbs to the top of the cage and "iron mans" to the other side. Shes quite old and has had two litters.
You need a wheel, plenty of easy access to water and food. Also only dwarfs should be housed together and with extreme caution (we had an instance of cannibalism). Also handle the critter daily. Most hamsters learn to really like the company and all ours climb excitedly into our hands when we offer them a ride out into the world.
Clean the cage weekly as ammonia builds up and can cause issues. Oh and they like some supplements to diet. Occasionally we give them cooked chicken or some boiled egg. They are omnivores and need some meat in their diets to give them what they need. Its cute to give them little treats as they take them like little children.
I used to keep my hamsters in one of those large plastic storage bins. I would cut out a large rectangle in the lid and replace it with hardware cloth for ventilation. I would also drill holes on the sides around the top for some extra ventilation. I've always liked using a storage bin better than the aquariums because they are so much lighter in weight and easy to attach items to such as food dish's or water bottles. Also I have never had a hamster chew through a bin, the bins are very hard plastic and very durable, just in case you are worried about something like that.
As far as food and such I would use a ceramic food dish and glass water bottle. I provided my hamster with hay too...they love to make a nest out of it and sometimes eat it lol. Wood chews are good for wearing down their teeth and as for bedding I used just regular kiln dried pine bedding but carefresh works great too. Make sure you get them a wheel to accomodate their size, I can't tell you how many times I have walked into a pet store and noticed that the wheel for the hamsters are way too small.
I'm pretty sure that's it. Hope I have helped
Oh and just as a side note. Some owners do feed their hamsters cooked chicken (as stated above) but most prefer not to since cooked food can contain alot of oil and grease. An alternative to feeding them chicken would be some mealworms.
I'm pretty sure, that with a little persistence, you can litter train any animal that routinely goes in the same spot. I've read that rabbits, though, will only hold it in for short distances, so they'll need more than one litterbox, spread a few feet apart, so that there's always one nearby. (It's always been a dream to have free-roaming, dwarf rabbits, but the hubby won't go for it, and I've got a lot of wires lying around that I'd have to bunny proof, so I won't be testing the potty-training-bunnies theory any time soon.) Some animals just drop anywhere, so there's no way to train them. My pygmy hedgehog refused litter training, no matter how hard I tried.