It sounds like you might be running into a problem with the online installer. Please see this help page for links to our stand alone installers:
To answer your questions..
1. Yes, the plugin should be updated if you are using a browser (or application) other than Internet Explorer to view Flash content.
2. Please see the link above
3. When checking versions online, it will only show the version that is currently being used. If you use IE to do this, only the ActiveX version will be displayed.
Hope this helps,
it worked - as you said it would. Brilliant - I can now let my hair grow again!