Just gonna tack on a little bit more info
(1-3) FlutePro's answer covers, but I'm gonna add on for clarities sake, that at some point when all the EM/NM characters are changed to BM (new name for HM), they will have the extra stats and skill options/points that a HM had over EM/NM, added for you to chose what to do with.
All those high level NM toons are now gonna be more use than the f@rt in a hurricane they used to be, for half the effort an HM player had to put in to get to the same level lol
(4) I don't think this is a glitch, rather something Nexon didn't include in their patch to update the UI at the start screens for whatever reason. No word from anyone as to whether Nexon will add back in the limited ability to customise your character. With all the bugs around at the moment, this is probably not one of Nexon's priorites to put back, nor a priority for AGE to hound them about, as even if that aspect made Shaiya more enjoyable for their players, it is not a fundemental problem that stops people from playing (like game crashes at GRB...
). And if people are so desperate to not look so fugly, they can always spend ap to customise their character. Win for AGE.
(5) FlutePro answers that ^^
(6) D@mn you FlutePro for ninja'ing me >.<!