1 - The only time the view should change is when you are flipping between mapsets in different projections. Most of the newest ones are all in the same projection, so it should be the same. The original topo set, however, is in a UTM projection, so it makes it very hard to keep the exact same view.
2 - Agreed, for sure. I plan to do exactly what you said. It is too cluttered and not useful.
3 - How so? Oh, nevermind, yeah, a lot of stuff is missing there.
Thanks for the great feedback as always.