1. Yes stronger signal, since you are not going through a splitter.
3. Yes the signal will be available for use by the DVDR, and will also be passed on to your TV for use by it.
4. Yes to watch the DVDR always use the HDMI cable, never ch 3 or 4.
5. For this question I will refer to my Panasonic es-30(w/VHS), since I personally do not have the EZ47, but rather the EZ-17 w/o VHS. Panasonic is usually good in keeping features common even in different lines, so I would believe the EZ47 has this feature.
To watch a VHS on my es-30 I would select DVD, then select the input for DVD to be the VHS. Normally VHS is not outputted on any output other than composite or S-video. But watching the VHS through the DVD it allows VHS to be outputted to Component, and if the es-30 had HDMI, I would think it would be also via HDMI.
In this case the only thing you would not be able to do is, watch a VHS at the same time as recording something different to the DVDR. If you wanted to do this you would need a separate S or composite video cable running from the common out, to your TV.
7. If the EZ is like my ES, when you first power on the machine it will ask you what channel, if any you want to set the RF modulator to. Select NONE, or off. If you miss this in the initial setup, it's kinda tricky to find after. I would have to refer to the manual, I have done this several times, but can't remember off hand. Try and catch it during initial setup if possible.
8. Yes, always watch TV using the TV's tuner. When watching a DVD/VHS or programming/setting up the unit, select HDMI on your TV.
9. Yes I suppose it could be confusing to some, reading that anything through the DVDR will be downconverted. I had never thought of that before your post. But rest assured, RF signal just passed through any DVDR will not downconvert the signal, unless you watch it through CH 3 or 4, which you will not be doing. Good luck, and if you will be doing any scheduled programming, especially if using weekly events, you might want to read the thread about "missing scheduled events". http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=970828
Not to scare you, but there are some issues with EZ Panasonics, missing sceheuled events. And several people have personally had cases with your EZ-47 missing events. The best I can say is to NOT use WEEKLY or DAILY events. Also note it has been reported that you cannot record digital .x channels to the VHS, only DVD. I hope that won't be a problem for you.
Good luck with your machine, and for best PQ recording to DVD try to not use any speed above LP(4hr mode). And if the video has a lot of fast motion, try and not go above the FR speed of 3hrs/disc. At least that's what I and some others have found.
10. Oh and lastly IMO the component and HDMI outputs are pretty much the same PQ. Since you seem to have a rather good HDTV, don't expect the upconverting on the EZ47 to be dramatically better than what your TV is already doing. Upconverting IMO is more of a marketing thing. All TV's already upconvert to the screens native resolution, and unless you have a poor TV(which you don't) I think you'll see no real difference using the upconverting feature.
Check out this thread for more opinions on upconverting DVD players.http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=964886
Now look at the one who should be apologizing for a long post