#1
My action seems to get higher as you go down the neck, as in higher towards the bridge?

is this normal?
#2
It's normal, as long as the increase isn't anything major. If you still have the setup book for the guitar, it should say about string height at 5th and 12th probably.
#5
Think about it - if the action was even over the length of the string it would make contact with the frets above your finger.

Fret your low E at the first and last frets and see if you can slide a credit card between the 8th fret (the actual metal part) and the string. If there's a reasonable gap your truss rod needs a little adjusting.
American Deluxe maple board Strat
Hot Rod Deluxe
Fulltone Fulldrive II mosfet