See the built-in documentation for "Inspecting a tool", or page 32 of the downloadable manual
. You'll be better off if you actually read the documentation instead of just trying to search for "how do I do XYZ?" as the former will give you the overall approach so that you'll instinctively do the right thing, and the latter may not be explicitly spelled out in terms that every search will find.
The inspector operation you characterize as so confusing is rather straightforward and consistent. If you make changes in the inspector with something selected, the changes affect the selected item(s). If you option click the tool first, you are setting the defaults (options) for anything subsequently created with that tool.
I'm not seeing your canvas behavior, though I wonder if perhaps you are being confused by the default canvas names (which stay with the canvas as it moves around in the sidebar, and do not reflect the position in the stack).
What benefit would be derived from switching to a different forum solution, in your estimation? Are you using the default style, or the Omni style? As for the lack of answers to specific questions in the forum, this is not intended as the primary support channel, but a place where users can help each other. If you want an answer from Omni, contact them directly. The Omni staffers participate here as time permits, but there's no guarantee any given post will be seen and handled by the appropriate person.