you emailed me a few days ago, but things have been hectic etc., etc.
In answer to your questions:-
1. Not as far as I'm aware.
2. The two items you mention are certainly excellent. As for being the best value for the money - that's something for you to decide, but with wireless equipment it isn't necessarily price that's the main consideration.
3. Yes, if you follow the manufacturers' instructions to the letter.
4. I know that some Netgear routers have given trouble with MSN Messenger in the past, but then so have other routers. Usually it's a firewall problem, and can be rectified. I'm not aware of specific problems related to the DG834G, but that doesn't mean there aren't any.