1) You need dual monitor video capabilities. Many times this means an add on video card.
2) Search Term: Front End. We have an entire sub-forum dedicated to front ends that blow media center away.
3) Search a bit for FM, you'll find that there simply isn't a good solution for it.
I'd also recommend that you spend some time searching through the Work log forum for some ideas. Also, I'd read the FAQs and stickies all over this place as they are invaluable.