I'm still fairly new to the concept of Fireworks and I thoroughly love it thus far.
One of my main questions are slices required at all times to export to DW? When creating a mock-up should the slices be created in advanced and then the text/images placed on top? Is it required that you slice each object or can you slice several objects at once. I've followed along on several tutorials, but this is one area that is still slightly confusing for me.
If you are adding slices then they are on top of objects/text. The answer to your question is "it depends" :-) If you are exporting images only then use slices. If you are exporting for use as a clickable PDF then just links need slice or hotspot. You can also export HTML and images and choose to export areas without slices as well (the red lines will be additional slices automatically).