[Q] new to smartphones/android, a couple of questions: data plans, root access, UI

Hello, I recently got a Motorola Defy for renewing my contact.
This is my first Smartphone and the first time I seriously try to understand connection standards, data plans and avoid hidden costs.
I don't have a data plan, and I don't intend to get one. I don't need to be online on the go and I'd rather avoid the costs. I neither want nor need all the social networking and internet apps and I'll uninstall them after rooting it anyway.

Which of the connections (GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, 3G should be all) will cost me extra? As far as I understand it, it only costs me when my phone tries to connect to the Internet via 3G, correct? So I can use my home wifi to access the internet without paying any off-plan fees, right?
And if that's true, can I just disable that somewhere (i.e. something like settings > network > only use wifi for internet) or do I have to deny every program 3G-internet access individually?

What about programs that use GPS (planetarium programs, navigational programs, etc)?
I figure that you'd need a internet connection to download updates, maps, etc. but do I need to pay for the positioning service itself?

And for my second question:
As I mentioned, I plan to root (already debranded it) my phone and install a shell. I already did some research on the forums and generally know what to do.
However due to security reasons I'd like to be just a normal user in day-to-day use.
How do I achieve this at best? just unroot with z4root and re-root when needed? could malware access z4root and give itself root privileges? Or can I use sudo with a password prompt as default user instead of su?

Oh and another little question, can I install programs manually with "install xyz.apk" from a shell on the phone or can I only do that from a remote machine with adb? and can I find the "apps" online in apk format? Because I'd prefer to avoid official marketplaces, app shops and whatnot.

Thirdly, the UI:
The Motorola Defy came with motoblur (at least I think that's the UI) and it's not exactly great. What do I look for when I want alternatives? Are the different "launchers" the UI? Or are they something else?

Thanks in advance,

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