Crashing in edit mode and a few annoyances

I have been using Blender happily for quite some time and I wouldn’t return to Max even if it was made free. However, there are a few issues that become very annoying, especially when encountered together.
I have searched for these problems everywhere, but it seems as if I’m the only one facing them.

  1. Frequent crashes whenever I switch to edit mode and select parts of gometry, be it vertices or faces, mouse or ‘L’ key. the only stable thing is “select all”. I have gotten into the habit of always saving before switching to edit, but still forget now and then.

  2. When moving objects when looking thorugh the camera, the X and Y axes are inconveniently rotated, so the object usually flies off the screen in one axis while barely moving along the other one until I get the hang of it once again.

  3. Some objects are unselectable except when viewed from above. This currently affects curved sheet metal pieces I’m modeling and arranging. Flipping normals has no effect on this.

  4. When switching from camera mode, the view resets to center, so I have to seek again the place i was working on. The “.” key helps only when an object is selected, which is not always by far.

These can add up to an hour of lost work when working on something for the whole day. I’ll be very grateful if someone helps with at least one of these issues.

Some more info:

GeForce 9500, 512 MB VRAM, 2GB system RAM
Windows XP SP3

The crashes persist across several versions of Blender.