Congrats on your new Hot Rod! It's a fantastic guitar -- just a beast. Regarding Q1, IMHO, the Hot Rod is a guitar that's framed as a "player" anyway so the mod was the result of another player's opinion about usability etc. -- a utilitarian view of guitar as tool, not museum piece. Personally I don't love the depth of my HR's stock output jack because some of my angled cables don't quite reach all the way in (though Fulltone angled plugs do, just barely) so it's the kind of thing I might have done myself if I couldn't tweak the existing one to my liking. So I would say, if you like yours as much as I like mine, I'd leave it as-is and just play the sh*t out of it.