Well, considering the fact that I've got 4 or 5 returning players and I usually try to run parties a little overpopulated to be preparedfor people vanishing (or worst case scenario, there are LOTS of opportunities for character interaction!), I'm pretty much going to give my four applicants (Glyphstone, Ghostwheel, Paladin101, and BrokenMirror) the thumbs up for entry into the game. Go ahead and get your hopes up as high as you want, you're going to be in the game as long as you want to be.
Oh, that's a good houserule question. I'm going to say that if you want to Rebuke Undead, but want to deal damage to them with the alternate rules, that works, but that is the decision you have to make at character creation that can't be altered.