Sounds like you may have moisture problems that have to be dealt with through a ceiling fan or dehumidifier before any paint will help. I hate painting but have painted latex on oil based primer at the recommendation of my favorite store & paint, Sherwin-Williams. Others may have their own brand preferences. The better quality paints have more pigment, cost more, and have a longer guarantee. You probably can't go wrong with an oil based bin or zinnser as a primer to help seal the ceiling.
I'll let others throw in their 2 cents worth on this though since I don't deal with plaster much except to tear it off and put up drywall. I do think there must be a moisture/humidity problem in the ceiling though that has to be fixed cause all the cleaning and surface roughing won't help with moisture.