These are questions of interest to me. Regarding question #1, my experience (obviously anecdotal) is that the motion of the planets should be taken into account, giving what some have called "primary progressions", though I'm not sure I prefer to change the name from "direction". Vitaly Krivodub of the "Kiev School" uses this method (or an approximation) in his "Complex Prediction Technique" http://www.astrologer.ru/book/kpm/index.html.en
"Ptolomei Svarogich" also uses this kind of method. His "Conceptual Basis" paper at http://www.levante.org
presents his rationale for this, and a general theory of "symbolic times" based on the correlation of fundamental astrological frames of reference. I find his approach quite appealing, and my experience has been that it works (I started working with it ~2000).
His hypothesis goes like this.
Important astrological frames of references are based on the spatial and temporal relationships between the native and important bodies with mass in the native's vicinity. He applies a fairly straightforward mathematical model to the generation of solar, terrestrial and lunar frames of reference. These correspond reasonably closely to the traditional tropical zodiac, Placidus domification and (more remotely) to a potential lunar or draconic frame of reference. The differences between his generated frames of reference and the more traditional frames are due largely to the topocentric (not Topocentric houses!) basis of his general model.
His resulting model for what he calls "symbolic times" is that they are all mappings, perhaps of some magical kind, between transit events and events earlier in the native's life. By "event" he means a set of space and time coordinates such as we those for which we draw up charts. Each kind of symbolic time is based on a correlation of two or more of the above frames of reference in a prescribed manner. He identifies three kinds of symbolic time correlations: progressions, directions and profections.
Progressions are the simplest correlation. Movement of the generating body of one frame of reference is correlated with that of the generating body of another frame of reference, each in its own frame.
For example, secondary progressions using the quotidian method for advancing the angles is quite close to the correlation of the solar and terrestrial frames. For a given transit time, one determines the movement of the sun in celestial longitude, including cycles, since the radix. One then moves the RAMC of the natal chart the same number of degrees, including cycles, in right ascension. The result is the progressed time (and date), for which one erects a standard chart for the location of the native at that progressed time.
Tertiary progressions correlate the lunar and terrestrial frames in the same manner. Minor progressions correlate the solar and lunar frames of reference.
Directions are a double application of one of progression mappings. Primary directions taking account of planets' motions in longitude are similar to a double application of the solar-terrestrial progression mapping. That is, having determined the progressed time, move the natal RAMC the same amount in RA as the progressed Sun has moved in celestial longitude to determine the directed time. Then erect a chart for that date/time and location of the native. This implies a dynamic key for the mapping.
Profections in his scheme are the application of two different mappings, the most common of which would be the solar-terrestrial mapping followed by the solar-lunar, yielding approximately 30 degrees of movement of solar celestial longitude per year.
A fascinating approach to me.