[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.

So:
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,
Ligatur

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