Edit: The short answer is that yes, they are interchangeable. As to preference, I don't really want to give my preference without having a reason for it.

So, the main thing that's happening here is that in the first instance, **using** is a verb representing an action, which is expected.

In the second, the *noun* "the use" is representing an action, which means that other things happen - its arguments as a verb become arguments as a noun, for instance - but essentially, but turning the action into a noun, you can refer to it later as "it".

I'd generally use the second, but I tend to write in more formal or academic registers. It really depends on your audience.

* [A link on grammatical metaphor][1]
* [Another one][2]

  [1]: http://folk.uio.no/hhasselg/systemic/metaphor.htm "Grammatical metaphor"
  [2]: http://grammar.about.com/od/fh/g/grammaticalmetaphorterm.htm "Grammatical metaphor"