You can either plant directly in the ground and dig every fall which effectively stops the growing process but will save the bulb - or - you can plant in large containers and manhandle them inside.
Elephant Ear plants now come in a variety of leaf forms/colors and plant sizes. I've copied the ones from Bloomington IL Royal Dutch Gardens as examples. www.RoyalDutchGardens.com Elephant Ear bulbs are seen in big box stores but they tend to be dried out and the survival rate isn't good. The ones in this catalog range from $15. If you're seriously wanting to include Elephant Ear in your garden, I'd get them from a nursery (either local or on-line.)
I didn't have any major pests on my plants although I did wash them off with a soft rag and a mix of mild dishwashing soap (like Dawn) about once a month just to make them pretty. If you have hard or chlorinated water, I wouldn't spray the leaves because it will leave spots.
Elephant Ear brings a bit of the tropics to a garden and certainly makes a statement piece. Give it a try this summer and see if it's something you consider worth the effort. Full sun, keep the soil moist and douse the roots with fish emulsion every week.
If you plant this where you will tend to it's needs, it will be a show stopper. Around a fish pond or other water feature, the center of a round formal annual garden, by your porch or deck, to hide an ugly something and etc. Rationalization: One bulb costs less than a Super Size burger meal and it doesn't make your thighs bigger. Win - win!