1. Yes, FSS is vital, in my opinion.
2. Each state costs about $6.50 per recruit in that state, with a minimum cost of $200. I'm on board with TJ - 20% or so usually keeps things manageable.
3. Double check that. The scouting trips return information that might seem open to interpretation, but if you know the key phrases for each type (low, average, high) they're never wrong.