1. Master text frames have nothing to do with page numbers and in most cases are totally unnecessary. Set the margins appropriately and place your text.
2. Without knowing what you're starting with it's impossible to tell if that's a good idea or not. My gut says is it's not. See number 1.
3. See number 1.
4. This is what paragraph styles are for.
5. See number 4.
6. This is what multiple master pages are for. Stop doing that.
7. Well, you finally got one right. As my people would say...mazel tov.
Now, it's time for you stop being inept (your word, not mine) and start learning the right way to do this. First thing you do is buy Sandee Cohen's Visual Quick Start Guide. It's the best InDesign book on the market for beginners. http://amzn.to/plsvxy
Secondly, check out the video training on Lynda.com. This link will get you a free one week trial: http://bit.ly/fcGpiI
Thanks Bob; i've got some handle on master pages now; and have started using paragraph styles. For chapter headings, I am using a master page on which there is a text box with the chapter heading font and size that I've decided on, so that when say on page 50 I reach chapter 3, I can apply the master page, then ctrl shift click to bring the text box out (which was on the master page, then change the chapter to whatever it is. Is this anywhere near right?
Thanks for the link, I'll look into it
FWIW, I wouldn't do it that way. I would create a snippet for the chapter title text frame, apply the master page and drag the snippet to the page. If you left your preferences for snippets at the default, then you can cmd/ctrl+drag them out to have the positioned in the exact spot they were created from.