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1.) They will be the same aspect ratio (16:9, square pixels), but each will take up more or less room within the frame than the other.
2.) If you start a 720p sequence, then yes, anything larger than 1280x720 will need to be reduced to fit entirely within the frame.
3.) You can select "Scale to Frame Size" by right clicking on the video clip, or manually resize the video through the source video's Effect Controls box. In addition, with the advent of CS4, Adobe has added a nifty little feature that was absent from earlier editions of Premiere, including CS3, and that is "Maximize Render Quality." This feature is checked from within the sequence settings dialog box, or selected from your export settings, and ensures that any footage that is scaled to fit the native resolution of the sequence will be handled appropriately so that it maintains maximum visual sharpness and resolution.
Keep in mind that there are different flavors of 720p and 1080i, so in future posts it would be helpful to designate which one you are referring to. For example, HD is defined as having a resolution of 1920x1080, and 1280x720 with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a pixel aspect ratio of 1.0, or 1:1. Panasonic DVCPROHD, through the use of line doubling, is actually 1280x1080 (1.5 pixel aspect ratio), and 960x720 (1.33 pixel aspect ratio), and Sony's HDCAM/XDCAM HD is 1440x1080 (1.33 pixel aspect ratio). Knowing exactly what format you are shooting in and what the native resolution you will be editing in will help maximize your results within the editing software and ensure that your video is not visually distorted. It will also offer you realtime playback direct from the timeline without the need to render, presuming you have a system that is up to spec.