1. Yes, I would (and do) consider picking up basic design skills. I don't want to be a designer, but i want to be able to complete an entire project single-handed.

2. Yes.  I already tracked a few down but a single, large repository of tutorials would be good.

3.  Beautiful UI is very important to software success.  I know that studies have shown that software purchase is an emotional response, not a logical one and UI would seem to be a big part in that.