The Heading symbols are Rich Symbols.As such most of their properties are controlled in the symbol properties panel at the instance level, not within the symbol itself.
Some attributes that CAN be changed at the symbol level are font style (bold, underline etc) tracking (letter spacing), anti-aliasing and Live Filters.
There are indeed far more font choices in the symbol properties than you have mentioned - they're just not all visible. Click the font list and then use the incredibly tiny scroll bar on the right to move through the font list.
I can't replicate the Layers panel issue.
In this case, I want my symbol instances to be Lucida Grande.
In the Symbol Instance, if i select 'Lucida Sans Unicode - Lucida Grande - sans serif' (the only option that has Lucida) the symbol still appears as Arial. Is there a way to customize the list of font options that appear in the dropdown?
Also, is there a way to change the default settings for the symbol itself instead of having to enter them on every instance? It seems to defeat the purpose if you have to manually enter all the settings every time you create one.
You can try editing the JSF file for the symbol - that's what controls the symbol properties. I'm not a coder, but I found that putting your preferred font at the beginning of the font list in the JSF list will solve the problem.
For example, I first saved a copy of the original script, then moved the Times Roman family to the beginning of the list and saved this version as the original script name. These scripts are found in the Fireworks application folder, inside Configuration > Common Library > HTML.
I restarted FW and when I dragged the H1 instance onto the canvas, it displayed Times immeditately.
Unfortunately, it deleted that family from the combo list, simply renaming it Arial - Helvetica - san-serif and placing it at the top of the list. So now I have 3 Arials - lol. The first one indicates the current font chosen (or it's supposed to) and the other two list my true Arial font family and the Times font family (renamed as Arial) Haven't figure out how to fix that yet.
This change doesn't affect the preview image either, but there must be a way to alter it by editing the true symbol.
HTH a little, at least.