#2
density and surface area of contact -> resonance and vibration of the strings.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#3
Yes, the tail piece effects the tone. Generally, guitars with top mounted vibrato tail-pieces like a Bigbsy have better sustain and a mildly diminished high end, guitars with interior machinery (Fender synchronized tremolo, Floyd Rose, etc.) have less sustain and more high end, guitar with stop bars will usually have more mid range and resonance and moderate sustain, guitars with Tune-o-matics usually have more mid range and bass, and guitars with "hard tail" bridge like telecasters usually have more sustain, snap and high end.

Maestro and Vibrola are names for the same type of tail piece; there are different types, like the different types of Bigsby, but they are essential the same thing. Either way, if you have the option to get a Maestro/Vibrola, don't. The Bigsby is much better (provided you don't want to do up bends, you can pop the strings of if bent up too high).
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
#4
And trapeze tailpieces completely suck your sustain.
MY GEAR
Epi SG w/ Gibson Burstbuckers
Epi Casino
PRS Kit
Thinline Tele w/ SD 1/4 Lbs
Warmoth JM

Vox Nightrain
Marshall Class 5

Boss RC-20
DT EX-7
EHX Q-Tron +
EHX Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker
Line 6 Echo Park

My PRS with SD P-Rails Build