Alan Scott's costume: Yeah, I dig it--like you said, it makes more sense if Jay Garrick becomes a hero in the 00s to wear something like that then the red and green get-up. I didn't think of the train thing in relation to the cover though--that could make for a very interesting sequence.
And this really gave me the right word to explain how this is different--for the first time since pretty much these characters were created, it seems like they're approaching these characters like contemporary figures. It's kind-of a weird thing to think about since they've been the grandfathers of the DCU since the 60s, more or less, and I have to wonder if it takes away something unique about them, but I can't deny that it's a new or potentially interesting take on them.
The GL in that gatefold cover...what if that's the First Lantern? Midnighter is another possibility--though when you consider his past iteration, he'd probably fit better with a Sinestro Corps ring.
I tried The Manhattan Projects...I honestly didn't care for it. I read through it and basically thought, "This is just a slightly more contemporary version of SHIELD." I honestly think Hickman really needs to go outside his wheelhouse a little more else he becomes stale.
Potential #0 issues? ...Eh, I would have to see what stories they decide to do. I can DEFINITELY see some interesting stories done with it. I mean, off the top of my head:
Batman #0 could show instances of the Court of Owls actually shaping and influencing Gotham city...
Batgirl #0 could show the actual surgery that made her walk again...
Red Hood #0 could show how Jason Todd came back from the dead, or show how Roy Harper went down a bad road, or how Starfire met some of her peers and why she ended up going into isolation...
Action Comics #0 could show Superman's FIRST superheroic feat, how he encountered Lois and the like (and really, more of young, hot-shot T-Shirt Superman is a good thing, IMO)...
It's a lot like the New 52 in general...it could fall spectacularly on it's face...but it could also do something pretty cool. All the complaints I'm hearing just sounds like semantics and being cynical for the sake of being cynical, IMO.
I think you got your Wonder Woman thing confused--the super-late run wasn't Picoult, but Alan Heinberg. After him, THEN you got Picoult and then Simone.
A Mogo beach ball would be AWESOME.
That watch does sound awesome as well.
What book would I want to get as an artist edition? ...Maybe Miller's DKR?
That "Shia Labouf" song...amazing.