UI2 does not function well with a touch screen, primarily because it lacks methods for bringing the menu up simply by touching the screen.
As for the cursor, you can replace the cursor with a transparent cursor (in the skins folder) to see what the effect is... the issue is however:
* while you do have an effective trail on the main screen, the other gyro screens such as the TV guide, the volume/lighting, the chapter selection, and the jog shuttle do require some effective feedback. This is why the large mouse cursor is used, and why it changes from a 4-way, to various 2-way cursors to indicate the allowed mouse direction.
and yes, correct. Anything in the Standard Variation is inherited to the other variations. The exception to this is of course the Symbian (Cell phone) layout, which has its variation explicitly set to not inherit from the standard variation.
Play around a bit more.