NO and no. And none of your other issues are actual issues. You simply need to,practice and learn the fine art of keyframing.
My keyframing skills are pretty developed, but all rules i know regarding keyframing seem to go out of the window as soon as i paste the path into my position parameter... How come it flips the object for example?
What i went to do is: have my object follow a path, then stop, move up a bit, stop again, and then follow another path, but i can't seem to get that done. Also, when i have animated the first path, and i put another keyframe 12 frames further AE makes up some kind of extra path which is supposed to fill the gap between the last keyframe of the path animation, and the next keyframe. I really don't get it...
Maybe this will help.