Default [Q] touchwiz/general query

morning all,

Ive just got a s4 after 2 years with an lg optimus 3d (a phone which im very happy with). Now for some queries:

info: its a 9505

Touchwiz: if i use another launcher like Nova or Apex do i lose all of the goodies like the smart eye tracking stuff?

Rooting: i see a lot of topics on this but none have specifically addressed this simple core question, is it safe? can i brick my device i managed to softbrick my optimus 3 times during its life and i didn't feel good about any one of them (and had massive relief when i fixed it) what i'm looking for is a one click solution that gives me the access without all of the recovery ****ery

durability: after taking it out of the box i was instantly struck by how brittle it feels and a web search on said topic didn't fill me with confidence either, can anyone recommend the most effective case for a clumsy individual (i've never dropped my phone but with what feels like a phone mate of chalk i guarantee it'll happen)

HDMI & USB on the go: are the two mutually exclusive? ive seen hdmi connector cables with micro usb slots but all of the example pics suggest the micro usb is for charging only.